Monday 23 October 2017

Quinn urges Longford to be inspired by success of neighbours

Michael Quinn, DCU
Michael Quinn, DCU
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Michael Quinn has urged Longford to reach higher in the wake of the underage successes enjoyed in neighbouring counties.

Longford divides Roscommon and Cavan, who have been blazing a trail at U-21 level over the last five years and Quinn admits that it has placed pressure on the midlanders to raise their game.

The former AFL player feels their four-point win over Offaly, their first since 1965, will be worthless if they don't kick on against Wexford and book a first Leinster semi-final appearance since 1988.

"We have to set a culture in Longford that you want to change," said Quinn. "You see Cavan with underage teams pushing through.

"Roscommon making huge ground at underage and pushing it through to senior level. That win is not really worth anything if you can't follow it up with another game.

"Consistency is a huge problem that we need to work on. Once you get the work rate, the consistency will come. We know we have three tough weeks ahead of us but we're looking forward to it."

Quinn admits revenge will be on their minds when they meet Wexford in Pearse Park on June 7/8. They lost their last Division 3 league match to them in April, a defeat that saw them relegated back to Division 4, where they came from in 2010.

REPLAY

They also lost a bad-tempered qualifier match to Wexford last summer and a Leinster quarter-final replay to them in 2011.

"There's no love lost between the two of us but we know what they're capable of. We played in our last league game against them that led to us being relegated but we're out for revenge. The few big games we've played against them in the championship they've won.

"We lost the last championship game against Wexford here last year. So there's pride at stake."

Longford were relegated but Quinn feels they are a different team when their veteran forward Paul Barden is on board with them.

"He came back in late. He had Gilmore's Groin, a few Achilles problems. But you know well what he's capable of and how hard he pushes himself in training," he said.

"It's a credit for a guy that's been around that long and giving the same commitment to the likes of Longford. People don't realise what kind of a player he is. He could play on any county team and it's just super to have him around.

"Once he gets on the ball there's just this buzz about him and he can make things happen which you really need in the centre half-forward position.

"I remember going to watch games with my dad to watch Paul. Coming out from games we'd say it was worth the admission fee alone to just watch him."

Irish Independent

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