Our Round 4B opponents Westmeath last night announced their team – and subs – for tomorrow evening’s clash at Croke Park (throw-in 6pm). Here are the details:
Westmeath (All-Ireland Qualifier Round 4B v Mayo 50/7/2016): Darren Quinn (Tyrellspass); Kevin Maguire (Caulry), Francis Boyle (Killucan), Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks); Jamie Gonoud (Tyrellspass), David Lynch (St Malachys), James Dolan (Garrycastle); Darragh Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks), Ger Egan (Tyrellspass, captain); John Egan (Athlone), Paul Sharry (St Lomans), Kieran Martin (Maryland); Callum McCormack (Maryland), John Heslin (St Lomans), John Connellan (Athlone). Subs: David Bryan (Killucan), Alan Stone (Castledaly), Paddy Fagan (Mullingar Shamrocks), Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks), Ronan Foley (Coralstown), Dean McNicholas (Tyrellspass), Shane Flanagan (Milltownpass), Sam Duncan (Milltownpass), Rob Gorman (Moate), Shane Corcoran (Tyrellspass), Daragh Conway (Shandonagh).
The team the Lakesiders have named shows three changes from the one that went under by fifteen points to Dublin in the Leinster final a fortnight ago. Out go centre-back Alan Stone, midfielder Denis Corroon and half-forward Ray Connellan, who was forced to go off with a serious injury the last day. Into the team for tomorrow evening come Darragh Daly, John Egan and John Connellan.
We’re due to name our pick later on this evening. Don’t expect anything from this announcement, I reckon, but exactly the same again.
Ahead of that there are a few morsels to gnaw on, the pick of the bunch being these comments about us by Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin. Some people have, I know, got a bit hot under the collar about these somewhat outspoken remarks but personally I don’t see what the problem is. This is, after all, the same man who – when Westmeath were relegated to Division Three last year – said that the attitude of senior players in the county was “fucking not on”.
I’d take issue with him on some of his facts when he talks about us – “they’re not in the same league as Dublin”: we are, it’s called the NFL Division One; “They don’t have All-Ireland medals in their locker at senior level, and under-21 and minor”: correct regarding senior but our 2013 minor and 2016 U21 titles must have passed him by – but the man’s forthright attitude is, for sure, a breath of fresh air. Give me that any day ahead of the soulless, corporate-style blancmange that the likes of Jim Gavin comes out with on a regular basis in his painfully stage-managed media outings.
Speaking of media outings, the GAA website has stuff this morning with Stephen Rochford (here) and Keith Higgins (here) but this is just reheated fare from last week’s press event so I wouldn’t be rushing to delve into it. We’re leaving our talking for the pitch on this occasion it would seem.
Anyone have some glue and a pair of scissors handy, by the way? I have to pop down to Croker shortly to paste something up on our dressing room door for tomorrow evening.