Longford captain Michael Quinn says he’s made his peace with the fact that he’ll never win an All-Ireland final or even compete in one.
The former Australian Rules player accepts that even after taking out Monaghan in the All-Ireland qualifiers, ‘doing a Leicester City’ is out of the question.
But the ambitious centre-back has called on his team to demand more from themselves and to believe that a ‘new Longford’ is emerging that can at the very least be consistent and, perhaps, maybe even claim a provincial title some day.
“It’s about Longford setting down markers now to know where we’re at as a county,” said Quinn.
“Getting an All-Ireland win, or even getting to a final, let’s be honest, it’s not going to happen. Leicester City doing what they did in the Premier League was out of the blue and the idea of Longford doing it in the championship would probably be even further out of left field. It’s about setting your goals and being realistic. In my lifetime as a player, I can’t see us winning an All-Ireland.
“But a Leinster championship could be a possibility if things fell our way.”
Longford have been drawn at home to Cork in Round 3B of the qualifiers next Saturday, a game that they see as highly winnable.
“We’re delighted to get the home draw,” said Quinn. “What we’re striving for is to be consistent, week in, week out. We’ve put two wins back to back now against Down and Monaghan, which is huge, and we’re seriously hoping that it’s the start of something. We’re hoping it’s the start of a new Longford, not the Longford that wins a big game and then turns around with a poor performance. We’re trying to change things and change that persona of a team that gets beaten early in the qualifiers.
“We want to be consistent and I think that belief is there because it’s a group of young lads who have played in Leinster minor and U21 finals. They’re trying to change the idea of Longford as ‘poor auld Longford, sure they gave it a rattle’.”
Quinn said that Longford will disregard Cork’s troubles throughout the league and championship and expect the side that opened up Dublin in the first half of their league game to arrive at Pearse Park on Saturday primed for battle.
“Oh definitely, that’s how we approach it. In my short county career, any time you’d dare to look beyond the next game, you’d slip on some banana skin. Any time we’ve got the tails up in Longford or had the favourites tag, we’ve struggled. So this is one game we’re not looking past. How could we take it for granted anyway?
“Cork are coming off a win themselves and were exposed to a much higher level of opposition in the league than we were.”
All-Ireland SFC Round qualifiers (Saturday) Round 3A:
Sligo v Clare, Markievicz Park, 2pm; Cavan v Derry, Breffni Park, 3.30pm;
Longford v Cork, Pearse Park, 3pm; Mayo v Kildare, MacHale Park, 7pm.
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