Monday 24 October 2016

Quinn relishes clubs' level playing field

Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30

Emmet Og's Michael Quinn, left, and Robert Barron of St James', Wexford
Emmet Og's Michael Quinn, left, and Robert Barron of St James', Wexford

Michael Quinn admits that the club championship enjoys a more level playing field that allows a team from Longford to think big.

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Quinn has helped his club, Killoe Emmet Óg, to three of the last four Longford club titles since returning home from an AFL career. And, unlike the inter-county provincial landscape, they have more realistic ambitions of progression.

"There is that romance of the competition that on any given day there is more of a chance than county and we definitely feel that," he said at yesterday's Leinster club launch. "Hopefully we can get a run and can push on, win a couple of games and push for a Leinster title."

Quinn's team play Wexford champions St James' in a first round Leinster fixture on Sunday and are coming off the back of a successful season at home.

"We were in the junior and senior finals in the one day. In the lead up to that we had 58 guys out training for both so for a country club team to have those numbers is huge.

"We are probably one of the biggest parishes in Longford but there is no proper town, just two pubs, a church and a shop. That's it. It's fairly rural."

Quinn's Longford were on the receiving end of a 27-point hammering against Dublin in the Leinster quarter-final and he was a contributor to the GPA's document on transforming the inter-county season. He feels something has to give in the very near future though the prospect of counties merging may be a step too far.

"Longford going into the Connacht Championship, there was mention of that before. The traditionalist view is that we are a Leinster team," he said.

"If you want to keep improving and excitement to happen you have to look at different options. It could be an option but people don't want to lose that history and tradition.

"It's a whole holistic change that's needed and that's the most difficult thing, the fixtures change that it has to be an overall (package), from the top down, county and then other things change along the way."

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