Friday 30 September 2016

Evans warns of London threat as Rossies aim to build on spring surge

Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30

Awards have flowed into Roscommon since winning promotion to Division 1 and beating Down in the Division 2 final, with Evans taking the Philips Manager of the Month prize for April
Awards have flowed into Roscommon since winning promotion to Division 1 and beating Down in the Division 2 final, with Evans taking the Philips Manager of the Month prize for April

John Evans is "all talked-out" warning of the risks for Roscommon attached to Sunday's Connacht quarter-final clash with London in Ruislip.

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Roscommon are 1/20 favourites to beat London (10/1), suggesting that it will all very easy for the recently-crowned Division 2 champions. It's a view that worries Evans.

"London went on a fierce gallop two years ago so anyone who thinks they aren't going to be ready for a real battle against us doesn't know Paul Coggins.

"He's a proud Roscommon man, but this is one time he'd love to see them beaten," said Evans.

Awards have flowed into Roscommon since winning promotion to Division 1 and beating Down in the Division 2 final, with Evans taking the Philips Manager of the Month prize for April and Senan Kilbride chosen as GAA/GPA Opel All Star Player of the Month.

It has all fed into the feelgood factor in Roscommon and while Evans accepts that solid progress has been made this year, he says nothing can be taken for granted.

"Offaly had a great win over Longford in the Division 4 final but it was a much different story last Saturday. That's the difference between league and championship. We are very wary about Sunday's game.

ATMOSPHERE

"It's easy sometimes to get sucked into the gala atmosphere generated in Ruislip for the first round of the championship and before you know it, you're in trouble.

"We're going over to do a job but must make sure we do it as well as possible. If we don't, we'll be caught," he said.

London beat Sligo and Leitrim in the 2013 Connacht Championship and took Mayo to extra-time in 2011, underlining how efficient they can be when things go well for them.

Meanwhile, Michael Dufficy, the Australian-born player, who joined the Roscommon panel early this year, has been released from the squad.

Dufficy, whose father Ollie played for Roscommon, moved from Melbourne to Tulsk to try his luck in Gaelic football. He worked hard for the past few months, but hasn't made the championship cut.

"He's a great lad with a brilliant attitude. His application to everything was a revelation and it was certainly good to have him around the scene.

"Unfortunately, he had a bit too much to make up in a short space of time in terms of the skills of the game at this level but it certainly wasn't for the want of trying. We're used to seeing some of our players going to Australia so it was nice to see an Australian-born lad coming here," said Evans.

Irish Independent

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