Lack of depth leaves Leitrim men stranded
Published 01/06/2009 | 00:00
The problem for Leitrim football teams, and all of the other smaller counties as well, is that they just don't have enough quality players -- other than the occasional 'once in a lifetime' squad, if they are lucky. Longford won a Leinster title in 1968, Clare won a Munster in the 90s and Leitrim themselves won the Connacht championship in 1994. But they were the only major titles in a combined 300 years of trying by this trio.
Many times, weak counties have many excellent players, often as many as 10 or 12, but rarely have they a universally strong 15, let alone a few subs of similar stature. This was shown clearly in Carrick-on-Shannon yesterday by the fact that Leitrim had to juggle around their best players in an attempt to compensate for lesser ones. Sadly, for the home team, they did not have enough such front-line players once it became known a few weeks ago that several of their best men would be absent through injury.
The two best examples of the problem confronting Mickey Moran and his selectors was shown at the start when first-choice full-back John McKeon was moved out to centre half-back and outstanding full-forward Declan Maxwell was played at wing-forward and midfield.