LONGFORD will enter tomorrow night's battle against Dublin instilled with confidence after their achievements against the Sky Blues last year.
That is the view of team manager Jack Sheedy, who is hopeful that Longford show the same application and confidence that was a hallmark of their 1-6 to 1-5 victory in last year's quarter-final at Parnell Park.
"I think what last year's result has done has changed the viewpoint of previous years. Certainly, our lads won't fear Dublin and the challenge that they present although we know how talented a bunch of players they are," said Sheedy.
"We probably had more experience in our ranks last year and maybe that element of surprise is gone a bit too. Perhaps, Dublin took their eye off the ball a bit 12 months ago and that's highly unlikely to occur tomorrow night."
The popular Sheedy, who shone for Dublin throughout the 1990s, acknowledges the talent that Dessie Farrell has at his disposal and their performance in the previous round, albeit against a poor Carlow outfit, reflects their threat.
"I thought Dublin did a very good job down in Carlow, in what was a no-win situation for them. They have had some good, meaningful challenge games recently and that should help their cause.
"They have a huge array of talent and a huge pool of capable players to choose from. Although Ciarán Kilkenny's injury is unfortunate for both himself and the team, they will have a strong team lining-out, irrespective of the personnel involved.
"It is a huge advantage that they enjoy although with so many players to choose from, there is potential for them to have too many options and that can prove a hindrance at times," he said.
From Sheedy's perspective, notwithstanding the calibre of Dublin's potential line-up, his brief will to ensure his side play to their optimum and their three competitive games to date is surely a positive in their favour.
"I think having the three games has definitely been a help. It was good for the confidence of the lads to come through tight games like that and although the performances were not great, we still managed to get the result we needed. We're really looking forward to tomorrow night and we hope to make life as difficult as possible for Dublin. We're very happy with the work we've done."