Monday 21 October 2019

Croker win helps to put Mayo nightmare to bed - Devaney

Devaney: Croke Park success will boost confidence of youngsters. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Devaney: Croke Park success will boost confidence of youngsters. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Roscommon captain Conor Devaney believes his side needed a "good experience" at Croke Park in last Sunday's league final after their chastening defeat on their previous visit to HQ.

Devaney's side conceded 4-19 in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final replay defeat to Mayo but they went some way to laying that memory to rest when seeing off Cavan last weekend.

"It was very satisfying, the main reason being it was a good experience in Croke Park whereas our last experience in August wasn't exactly great, so it's great to get up here and perform," Devaney said.

"Now obviously there were a lot of things we didn't do well but all in all we got the win and it's important for this team to have some success up here. Going back to the Mayo game in August we felt that we totally underperformed, even though Mayo were that much ahead of us. I still think it was nice to come here today and get some winning experience coming into the summer."

Roscommon conceded three first-half goals against Cavan but Devaney believes they will be better for the experience.

"We've a number of young players who may not have played here before so the more games they get the more comfortable people we will be. I think we spoke before the game about just enjoying it and that's exactly what we did."

Devaney has been used in a variety of positions by Roscommon over the years but was given the man of the match award after another fine performance from wing-forward that saw him kick three points.

"I was kind of going between wing-back and wing-forward but over the course of this league I've been playing predominantly as a wing-forward," explained the Rossies' skipper. "I really don't mind where I play, whether it's wing-back, wing-forward, or maybe off the full-forward line. I don't know which is the best for me either, because I really don't mind.

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"I think no matter where you are you have to contribute in the same way. You have to work hard, you have to tackle, you have to get back no matter where you are and you have to get forward no matter where you are.

"You have to be used to playing different positions and you have to be able to do that, to adapt to different positions and maybe the sense of a traditional position has kind of gone somewhat and there's the same type of player that would as a wing-forward as a wing-back, so I don't mind which it is."

Roscommon will down tools now until they face New York or Leitrim on May 26. And after being put to the pin of their collars in the Big Apple two years ago, Devaney is making no assumptions about who will emerge from that game.

"You just let that game play out, whatever happens will happen. We know ourselves that New York can be excellent on a given year. They do tend to, depending on who they have available, fluctuate from year to year.

"We definitely got the shock of our lives over there. They were brilliant that day, they were scoring from everywhere. And we were expecting them to be good but it was a tight game. We were lucky to get out of there that day with a win so anyone could possibly win that game."

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