Wednesday 13 December 2017

Kilroy says Roscommon's focus all year has been on avoiding semi-final stumble

Niall Kilroy of Roscommon. Photo: Sportsfile
Niall Kilroy of Roscommon. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Roscommon forward Niall Kilroy insists that his side have been focusing on a tilt at Leitrim all year long and he cannot wait to tear into their neighbours again.

Kilroy and his team-mates welcome Leitrim to Dr Hyde Park tomorrow, as they continue their quest to end a provincial drought that goes back to 2010. This time last year, many thought the Rossies were on their way to a Connacht title on the back of a fine league campaign but Galway had other ideas and inflicted a big defeat in a finsl replay.

Galway await the winners again but, Kilroy is adamant that Roscommon wouldn't dare look beyond Leitrim.

"This is what you train for all year. The slog in pre-season and everything. It's summer championship football and it's coming up fast. We are really looking forward to it," says the 26-year-old Fuerty clubman.

"Since the draw was made it was Leitrim or London. We will have a tough game on Sunday. They will be coming down and we will have to give it our all against them.

"The league is very good as well especially in Division 1. It's where you want to be playing. But for us championship is where it's at, we focus on June 18. That has been our focus all year, we are just looking forward to that.

"We would admit we weren't happy with how the replayed Connacht final went last year, we didn't play to our potential against Galway that day.

"But our focus all year has just been on this semi-final. We want to get over this game. And we would be delighted to get into another Connacht final."

Kilroy has one of the more unique jobs in the Roscommon team, but he loves testing himself on a daily basis as an actuary. "It's tough going now. I went to UCD for four years there. I was under the tutelage of the late Dave Billings," explains Kilroy.

"I got a great grounding in football there and they helped me with my degree. It was a very tough course but I got through the four years.

"I have been working since now in Dublin. It's exciting. I am loving the career. I wasn't going to let GAA or sport in general to dictate what I was going to do. I am delighted that I chose the career that I have.

"Every company has busy times, when you have to stay you have to stay late. Ultimately it's in around 8.30am to 5.30pm. You can work earlier and later, so it helps when it comes to training."

The Rossies will start hot favourites with their opponents only edging past London by three points last month after Ronan Kennedy came off the bench to bag two goals for Benny Guckian's side.

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