Setting the bar for summer success

Most championship dreams are beyond reason but success has many forms. It needn’t be a piece of silverware. What exactly what should satisfy county boards from their respective teams this summer?

FOOTBALL

MUNSTER

Clare

Will fancy giving Cork a rattle should they beat Limerick. A good qualifier run would be adequate.

Cork

Will be tested next month but they should be in the July 5 final. All-Ireland semis would be success.

Kerry

Another unbeaten championship anticipated although will be wary of Tipp and a wounded Cork.

Limerick

Did incredibly well to avoid relegation but might find Clare are stronger in some departments.

Tipperary

Should beat Waterford and then give Kerry a test. All-Ireland quarter-finals are a real prospect.

Waterford

Had most disappointing Division 4 campaign. A win in the qualifiers would be encouraging.

ULSTER

Antrim

An Ulster semi-final spot on the back of beating a fancied Fermanagh and take it from there.

Armagh

Their manager has spoken of an Ulster title and it is within their capabilities although there are buts.

Cavan

To build on their U21 provincial success, they must be something more than attritional. Tough order.

Derry

An Anglo-Celt Cup will be considered but making the last 12 of the championship would be credible.

Donegal

Broke mould when winning 2011 and '12 Ulster SFCs from preliminary tie. Older, wiser and better.

Down

Optimism is unlikely to be dampened by poor Division 2 final show. Ulster final a reasonable aim.

Fermanagh

An Ulster final appearance will be a medium-term goal although Monaghan likely to stand in way.

Monaghan

A third Ulster final appearance will be in the sights. Cavan likely to provide the biggest hurdle.

Tyrone

A grudge match tomorrow week and another if they win it. Beat Donegal and they will believe.

CONNACHT

Galway

A first Connacht title in seven years and knocking Mayo off their perch would be a significant return.

Leitrim

Without Emlyn Mulligan, Leitrim supporters aren't anticipating a lot. Must avoid a winless summer.

London

Appear to be at a lower ebb this season compared to recent seasons. Any win would be cherished.

Mayo

No honeymoon for new management. More Connacht dominance and claim Sam once more.

Roscommon

If a Connacht title is not achieved, an All-Ireland quarter-final would be next best alternative.

Sligo

With a good coach at the helm, should target a provincial final. If not, a scalp or two via the backdoor. 

LEINSTER

Carlow

With Brendan Murphy having left, few expect them to beat Laois. Win a game, any game.

Dublin

Leinster almost taken for granted at this stage. Knocking Kerry off their perch would be ideal.

Kildare

Jason Ryan won't be manager in 2016 unless a Leinster title or All-Ireland semi-final spot is attained.

Laois

With Dubs on their side of the draw, a Leinster final is unlikely. Making last 12 would be satisfactory.

Longford

Already a good season with promotion to Division 3. Create a shock or two and it will be a great one.

Louth

Two summer victories would go a long way to boosting a county that dropped to Division 4 this year.

Meath

Anything less than a fourth consecutive Leinster final would be a failure. Must improve thereafter.

Offaly

A meeting with Dublin and how much of a damage limitation job they can do should they face them.

Westmeath

Need a summer of stability after a second successive relegation. Leinster semi-final.

Wexford

Their sights are lower than most after relegation to the lowest tier. A couple of victories.

Wicklow

The lowest-ranked team in the country. Beating Meath would make supporters forget the league.

HURLING

MUNSTER

Clare

Breaking the provincial hoodoo would put relegation and off-field controversies well behind them.

Cork

For confidence's sake, retaining provincial crown has become more important after poor NHL final.

Limerick

No worries if they don't go all the way in Munster but moral victories in Croke Park must be avoided.

Tipperary

All or nothing in Eamon O'Shea's last season in charge. Winning Munster would ease the heat.

Waterford

Whether it's through Munster or not, the league success should given them a platform to last six.

LEINSTER

Antrim

Took Laois by surprise after a disappointing spring. Making last eight of province would be a boost.

Carlow

Face a tough task now to make the Leinster quarter-finals but it would be a major step forward.

Dublin

Backed by such a seasoned side, Ger Cunningham will be aiming for Croke Park come August.

Galway

Anthony Cunningham under as much pressure as O'Shea. All-Ireland semi-finals are a must.

Laois

Defeat to Antrim has made life more difficult. Must qualify for Leinster proper to sustain positivity.

Kilkenny

The same again, please. Winning Liam this year could even rival the sweetness of 2012 or last year.

Offaly

Two wins, whichever way they come. A Leinster semi-final and a qualifier run would be nice.

Westmeath

Another win today and taking a step into a provincial quarter-final would indicate progress.

Wexford

A first visit to Croke Park since 2008, be it in a Leinster semi-final or All-Ireland semi-final.


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