Saturday 25 March 2017

London won't get carried away after Fermanagh shock -- Goggins

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

LONDON football boss Paul Coggins allowed his history-makers one night's blow-out -- but they'll be back to training tonight ahead of their first ever game in the second round of the All-Ireland qualifiers.

"The lads wanted to have a night's celebration and they were certainly entitled to it, so we had a good night in The Crown in Cricklewood on Saturday night," said Coggins, whose side ousted Fermanagh to secure their first championship victory in 34 years.

"It is owned by our sponsor Tommy Moran, who also owns the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. He laid on a free bar for a few hours and I'm not sure whether he's regretting that now or not!"

The draw was extremely kind to the Exiles, who avoided any of the big guns and also got home advantage again, against Waterford.

But Coggins said they won't be taking anything for granted. "Waterford have been very unlucky not to win some Munster club titles in recent years," he said.

"A lot of people mightn't be conscious of the high standard of club football in Waterford, but I am. And they played in Division 3 of the league this year, which was a higher standard than ourselves."

But he said that London and several more teams have shown that league form is not a huge factor when it comes to the championship.

"We gave a Division 1 team a good game and you saw what Mayo did to Galway last weekend, and Clare almost beat Down," he said.

"And we're not the only Division 4 team still there. Longford, Wicklow and Leitrim also came through, which is very encouraging, and Roscommon are already in the Connacht final.

"We have a chance against Waterford -- just like we had a chance against Mayo and Fermanagh. Even against Mayo we concentrated just on playing our own game and if we don't do that again on Saturday week, we'll pay the price."

All of London's players came through last Saturday's game relatively unscathed and they are expected to be strengthened by the return of Stephen Boyle from injury.

"It's been a hectic few days, our phones haven't stopped with calls and messages," said Roscommon native Coggins, a long-time London player who took over as their manager this year after making his reputation with Tir Chonaill Gaels.

"But I've no worries that they'll all be firmly back on the ground and ready to train again hard and we're really looking forward now to the next game."

Irish Independent

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