Mayo tops but we're ready to challenge them - Kilbride
Senan Kilbride vows to make every effort to win a Connacht Championship medal with Roscommon before he retires. At 29, he knows he only has a few years left but Roscommon's run through two successive promotions to reach Division 1 for next year has whetted the appetite for more and better on the county scene.
A four-time Connacht winner with St Brigid's and having savoured the satisfaction of winning the All-Ireland Club title in 2013, Kilbride knows the satisfaction of achieving major success.
But the provincial title with Roscommon would be something special, particularly as his father Sean, the former Roscommon and Mayo footballer, won Connacht twice with the Rossies.
Senan missed out on 2010, the last time his native county annexed the provincial crown, due to injury.
"Back in 2010 I was number 33. I was coming back from an injury after a few months out and I was disappointed not to get in the squad.
"I was sitting on the sideline that day of the final with my club-mate Mark O'Carroll who broke his leg that year with London, and unfortunately he hasn't been able to play county football since.
"I'm just glad I have another chance and I want to make the most of what I have left, and I've been giving everything I can to Roscommon," said Kilbride.
The management of Kerry native John Evans, allied to the contribution of former Limerick and Laois manager Liam Kearns, another Kerryman, as part of the backroom team has been instrumental in helping Roscommon win promotion and the Division 2 league final against Down.
Kilbride also appreciates their influence in helping him earn national recognition via the GAA/GPA Opel All-Star Footballer of the Month award which was presented yesterday in Croke Park.
Kilbride knows the Rossies have to forget about the league campaign, and knuckle down for the championship challenges to come, starting with London away.
"Mayo are the kingpins in Connacht and it's up to the rest of us in the province to change that.
"Galway were very strong, they beat us in the league. Sligo finished the league very strongly, and I'm sure if we get through London, they'll fancy their chances against us. Connacht is probably a bit more open in that teams have a bit more belief that they can actually win it.
"But until somebody does, Mayo are still favourites," added Kilbride.