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Division 4 - National League

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Halfway through our main competition. Here is my take so far:

Even though we have been in the position to get promoted before we have never felt fully comfortable with the pressure. This year feels different. I genuinely feel we haven't had a full 70 minutes performance yet which is exciting.

We have Limerick away, London at home, Derry away and Waterford at home to finish the campaign. Two wins and we should be safely through with a game in Croke Park to look forward to.

We are playing a pragmatic style of football. It couldn't not be said that it is overly defensive or overly offensive.

We're also starting to see our squad take shape now with players returning from injuries or extended breaks.

Competition is probably at the highest rate it's ever been on a Leitrim panel and that's without Donal Wrynn, Keith Beirne and James Mitchell three players we all would have thought would have been on the panel this year but for various reasons are not.

After Darragh Rooney's performance the last day I would assume the management have to start him from now on. An attack based on a triangle of Rooney, Heslin and O'Rourke should be able to cause sufficient problems. Personally I would be adding Gary Plunkett to the other 3.

Our sweeper system with Sean McWeeney at its fulcrum has largely worked with a bit of confusion at times. I would worry that once the ground hardens that he might be caught for pace and that we might be better with Shane Quinn as the sweeper at wing forward and Oisin Madden at Wing back? He was brilliant here last year. I know he is our best man marker and consistent player but could Paddy be an option at 6 if Fergal McTague performs well in the full back line after his injury? It would release Mark Plunkett and Maguire is brilliant at coming out of defence with the ball?

One of Two big decisions that Terry Hyland made was playing Mark Plunkett at centre back. This has been a success. He is a leader, an imposing presence and his ability to use long range foot passing has been an added string to our bow. The only nagging feeling I have is that we would be an even better team if he was at 11? Gary Reynolds could be a solution but I'm not sure he has the pace? The second decision Terry made was Dean McGovern at 14. It worked brilliantly against Mayo but hasn't really clicked since. I think I would persist with it but when you're leaving quality such as Gary Plunkett, Rooney, Mulligan and McGloin on the bench to play McGovern in a position he is not used to it becomes harder to sell especially when Dean can definitely play at Wing forward or midfield.

Next goal is to gain promotion as quickly as possible. Win the next two games and then we can start experimenting with a few players who are close to the starting line-up. In the long run this would give us an added boost before the championship were I expect us to be much more competitive.

Leitrim1234 (Leitrim) - Posts: 241 - 15/02/2019 14:00:21    2165496

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Replying To offyertrolley:  "Thanks for that. Some bitter memories of Kilmallock from 2008. We were relegated to Div 4 on that ground. We shouldn't have lost that day. It would be good to set the record straight this time."
was there that day........ greatest robbery ever. John Mc keon kicked the ball from midfield just before the referee blew for half time; the ball ended up over the bar from his kick but the whistle went while it was in the air and the score wasn't counted! Ridiculous decision; we ended up losing by a point and in Div 4 instead of Div 3...... Was gutted that evening.

Now a chance to put it right at long last!!

leitrimlhady (Leitrim) - Posts: 74 - 15/02/2019 14:07:09    2165500

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Replying To Leitrim1234:  "Halfway through our main competition. Here is my take so far:

Even though we have been in the position to get promoted before we have never felt fully comfortable with the pressure. This year feels different. I genuinely feel we haven't had a full 70 minutes performance yet which is exciting.

We have Limerick away, London at home, Derry away and Waterford at home to finish the campaign. Two wins and we should be safely through with a game in Croke Park to look forward to.

We are playing a pragmatic style of football. It couldn't not be said that it is overly defensive or overly offensive.

We're also starting to see our squad take shape now with players returning from injuries or extended breaks.

Competition is probably at the highest rate it's ever been on a Leitrim panel and that's without Donal Wrynn, Keith Beirne and James Mitchell three players we all would have thought would have been on the panel this year but for various reasons are not.

After Darragh Rooney's performance the last day I would assume the management have to start him from now on. An attack based on a triangle of Rooney, Heslin and O'Rourke should be able to cause sufficient problems. Personally I would be adding Gary Plunkett to the other 3.

Our sweeper system with Sean McWeeney at its fulcrum has largely worked with a bit of confusion at times. I would worry that once the ground hardens that he might be caught for pace and that we might be better with Shane Quinn as the sweeper at wing forward and Oisin Madden at Wing back? He was brilliant here last year. I know he is our best man marker and consistent player but could Paddy be an option at 6 if Fergal McTague performs well in the full back line after his injury? It would release Mark Plunkett and Maguire is brilliant at coming out of defence with the ball?

One of Two big decisions that Terry Hyland made was playing Mark Plunkett at centre back. This has been a success. He is a leader, an imposing presence and his ability to use long range foot passing has been an added string to our bow. The only nagging feeling I have is that we would be an even better team if he was at 11? Gary Reynolds could be a solution but I'm not sure he has the pace? The second decision Terry made was Dean McGovern at 14. It worked brilliantly against Mayo but hasn't really clicked since. I think I would persist with it but when you're leaving quality such as Gary Plunkett, Rooney, Mulligan and McGloin on the bench to play McGovern in a position he is not used to it becomes harder to sell especially when Dean can definitely play at Wing forward or midfield.

Next goal is to gain promotion as quickly as possible. Win the next two games and then we can start experimenting with a few players who are close to the starting line-up. In the long run this would give us an added boost before the championship were I expect us to be much more competitive."
Surely it would make more sense to play mc tague full back and paddy on the corner and drop flynn as he is not a natural corner back or man marker. I think he has a role to come of the bench for mc weeney possibly. Rooney has to start and I would like to see the bench used earlier as we run a lot so from 40 minutes we should introduce the bench. I think wicklow could be our biggest threat to second place assuming we don't top the table.

harleys (Leitrim) - Posts: 285 - 15/02/2019 23:46:37    2165602

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Eddie 1 here

The B & B in Kilmmallock is booked.

We are going Thursday

See you there

Eddie1

Up Leitrim

Eddie1 (Leitrim) - Posts: 216 - 16/02/2019 10:57:46    2165626

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This is a big one folks. It's not necessary that we win but if we do the goose will nearly be cooked. Derry are playing Wicklow on Sunday aswell so if they could do us a favour and win it would leave us in an undeniably strong position. We've never had an easy game in Limerick and I don't expect one on Sunday.
Any updates on Shane Moran or Jack Heslin's injuries? Dean McGovern will be back from his concussion and there's talk that Fergal McTague should be fit aswell.

Here's the team I think Terry will select if everybody's fit.


Diarmuid McKiernan

Paddy Maguire Michael McWeeney Aidan Flynn
Sean McWeeney Mark Plunkett Ray Mulvey

Pearce Dolan
Shane Moran

Domhnail Flynn Jack Heslin Shane Quinn
Ryan O'Rourke Darragh Rooney Evan Sweeney

I can't see him rushing McTague back after a hamstring injury so I would say he will hold him in reserve. He also has seen something in Evan Sweeney so I expect him to start once again even if I would go with Gary Plunkett or Cillian McGloin. Our bench will be very strong once again and will be needed. Don't care how we get a win here as long as we can get over the line.

LeitrimWay (Leitrim) - Posts: 64 - 18/02/2019 10:19:08    2166074

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It's a huge weekend indeed. Win our game and Derry win then that will be it I'd be thinking. However the opposite results in both games leaves us in bother. I'd take a draw right now tbh. I'd say dean Mc govern will go into the full forward line instead of D.Moran as I think Moran is better off the bench. Rooney will start instead of Heslin if he's not fit. Will mulligan push a starting place. Serious competition for places. Off the top of my head you have
Heslin, McGloin, Moran, Mulligan, Rooney, Plunkett, O'Rourke, Flynn, Sweeney, McGovern all fighting for 5 forward positions as Hyland plays McWeeney as a sweeper. That's 10 players for 5 positions and you can make a case for any of them to start.

Champotime18 (Leitrim) - Posts: 154 - 18/02/2019 12:34:55    2166111

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Yes another huge game on Saturday.

I would expect it to be another tight affair but this team has already shown they are more than capable of coming out the right side of that type of game (something we haven't been great at down through the years!). I wouldn't say Terry will make too many changes to the 15 that started against Antrim. I'd like to see Rooney start given the impact he had the last day but won't be surprised if he is left on the line. I think if McGovern is fit he will start him on the edge of the square ahead of Moran but that may be the only change.

Win Saturday and Derry win on Sunday i think we will be pretty much home and hosed. That would open up a 4 point gap to those in 3rd place with 6 points to play for. If we lose on Saturday i do not think it will be the end of the world as i do strongly believe that 4 points from our remaining 4 games will see us finish in the top two. Limerick while on 4 points are in somewhat of a false position given that the 4 points have come against historically the two weakest sides in the division (London and Waterford). The first real test they had was in Aughrim and they failed. I still expect them to give us plenty of it Saturday and we will get nothing easy. Limerick must win which means they will have to give it a go at some stage which may just be what we need given the pace of our forward line who if given a bit of extra space will do damage.

I am confident our lads will come out the right side after another real battle.

juande_ramos (Leitrim) - Posts: 40 - 18/02/2019 13:59:04    2166131

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If as I do and most of us believe that this game can guarantee our promotion than Hyland has to put out what is our best team. In my eyes that means Fergal McTague has to start if the Physio thinks his hamstring is up to it. Now I understand that a hamstring of all injuries is tricky to get right but he was training freely on Pairc Tom before the Antrim game and has trained fully since then. Unfortunately for most clubs including my own he was completely dominant in the Willies full back line and was a shoe in to start for Leitrim until his injury. Now that may be harsh on Aidan Flynn who has stepped in admirably but there's no doubt in my mind that if fit McTague is a step up in quality and as we seen against Antrim our full back line has been suspect.

Other big decisions are whether to start Rooney (which would be crazy not to) and whether Dean McGovern deserves to regain his starting position. I wouldn't be against staring him at Wing Forward and let him switch inside now and again. As a previous poster has noted in the long run it's going to be interesting to see who starts in our forward line. Thankfully we are about to see competition in our defence with McTague returning and Madden, Noel Plunkett and Conor Reynolds all back training and Gary Reynolds getting fitter.

Use of our bench is going to be key. Gary Plunkett (who I'd also having starting), McGloin, Flanagan and Mulligan are all well capable of making an impact when introduced. McGloins pace and directness is something I'd be looking at using more. I nearly laugh when I look at our options these days and how tuff it must be to select the team compared to the past 5 years.

Don't let anyone think this game on Saturday is a gimme though. Limerick won their first two games and only lost by to Wicklow after conceding two very soft goals. They've a brilliant corner forward in Seamus O'Carroll who plays his club football in Dublin with Castleknock and a massive man in Begley at Full Forward who will take watching.
I know it's a horrible journey but a big Leitrim following would make a huge difference!

OnTheBank (Australia) - Posts: 140 - 18/02/2019 18:12:19    2166199

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i'd even take a draw saturday but a win and then we can look forward to london and waterford, but the word of warning is not to ease up against london who were a point off limerick and beat wexford and always put it up to us, deeley has them as fit as they ever were, but we are in a better place too

buzzing for saturday

manchesterbhoy (UK) - Posts: 11 - 19/02/2019 11:30:24    2166326

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Replying To manchesterbhoy:  "i'd even take a draw saturday but a win and then we can look forward to london and waterford, but the word of warning is not to ease up against london who were a point off limerick and beat wexford and always put it up to us, deeley has them as fit as they ever were, but we are in a better place too

buzzing for saturday"
This should be seen as a winnable game. After all we did beat them last year by double scores. The Limerick lads will be coming up with a defensive plan to stop our forward line. Our forwards need to be more clinical and provide Ryan with the kinda ball he was getting in the Wexford game. Word is that Shane Moran and Jack Heslin are major doubts. So ideal opportunity to get Dean Mc Govern back at midfield and Darragh Rooney starting inside.

MadAboutLeitrim (Leitrim) - Posts: 16 - 19/02/2019 22:57:26    2166473

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Replying To MadAboutLeitrim:  "This should be seen as a winnable game. After all we did beat them last year by double scores. The Limerick lads will be coming up with a defensive plan to stop our forward line. Our forwards need to be more clinical and provide Ryan with the kinda ball he was getting in the Wexford game. Word is that Shane Moran and Jack Heslin are major doubts. So ideal opportunity to get Dean Mc Govern back at midfield and Darragh Rooney starting inside."
We can't really go by last year's performance as it was a home game and we have changed so much in the last 12 months in sure Limerick have too. I think we should be going their with confidence and hopefully it's a dry day for fast moving football. I think we need to get Ryan O Rourke on more ball we need to be scoring more from play. Maybe trying Rooney inside with him will help. Be interesting to see what team starts on Saturday. We need t ok start the games better and tighten up at the back because we have been chasing the game the last 3 and we have had the rub of the green so would be nice to go in at half time ahead for a change.

harleys (Leitrim) - Posts: 285 - 20/02/2019 08:01:13    2166492

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Replying To OnTheBank:  "If as I do and most of us believe that this game can guarantee our promotion than Hyland has to put out what is our best team. In my eyes that means Fergal McTague has to start if the Physio thinks his hamstring is up to it. Now I understand that a hamstring of all injuries is tricky to get right but he was training freely on Pairc Tom before the Antrim game and has trained fully since then. Unfortunately for most clubs including my own he was completely dominant in the Willies full back line and was a shoe in to start for Leitrim until his injury. Now that may be harsh on Aidan Flynn who has stepped in admirably but there's no doubt in my mind that if fit McTague is a step up in quality and as we seen against Antrim our full back line has been suspect.

Other big decisions are whether to start Rooney (which would be crazy not to) and whether Dean McGovern deserves to regain his starting position. I wouldn't be against staring him at Wing Forward and let him switch inside now and again. As a previous poster has noted in the long run it's going to be interesting to see who starts in our forward line. Thankfully we are about to see competition in our defence with McTague returning and Madden, Noel Plunkett and Conor Reynolds all back training and Gary Reynolds getting fitter.

Use of our bench is going to be key. Gary Plunkett (who I'd also having starting), McGloin, Flanagan and Mulligan are all well capable of making an impact when introduced. McGloins pace and directness is something I'd be looking at using more. I nearly laugh when I look at our options these days and how tuff it must be to select the team compared to the past 5 years.

Don't let anyone think this game on Saturday is a gimme though. Limerick won their first two games and only lost by to Wicklow after conceding two very soft goals. They've a brilliant corner forward in Seamus O'Carroll who plays his club football in Dublin with Castleknock and a massive man in Begley at Full Forward who will take watching.
I know it's a horrible journey but a big Leitrim following would make a huge difference!"
Any update on Oisin Madden?. Fergal McTague injury not as long term as initially thought and could be in contention. However Aidan Flynn has done well since coming in and is very committed to the Jersey. Hope Pearse Dolan gets his mojo back for Limerick- he's a key player for us . Team will probably be picked tomorrow. I agree that we have the best bench in years and as it's a 20 man game now,all those mentioned will get a run on Saturday. I'd like to see young Cullen from Aughnasheelin get some game time. He was outstanding for us in the last 2 years prior to injury and linked up well with Ryan on the left wing. Great to see so much competition for places among very talented players although we don't have too many to call on in defence.I think we are agreed that Saturday's game will define our season. No pressure then!

leitrimabu1 (Leitrim) - Posts: 64 - 20/02/2019 16:37:01    2166612

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Limerick are worse this year than they were last year.They'll make it tough for us early on but we should be winning this game by 5 or 6 if we are serious about promotion.Liatroim Abu.

moesyzlack (USA) - Posts: 153 - 20/02/2019 17:40:26    2166628

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Eddie 1 here

Myself & herself are on the wagon to Kilmallock , leaving in the next hour , should get there in time for the match

Make sure you all come and support our team. They are giving the county a great lift at the minute

We all have been waiting a long time for the good days. Lets hope they continue on Sunday

C'MON GET YOURS --SES DOWN TO KILMALLOCK


See you there

Eddie 1
Up Leitrim

Eddie1 (Leitrim) - Posts: 216 - 21/02/2019 10:09:48    2166728

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Huge weekend for leitrim football. I think it's safe to say we've all had enough of division 4, 11 long years of basement league football. This leitrim team are a joy to watch in terms of their commitment and never say die attitude. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against both Wicklow and Antrim is testament to the positive attitude that Terry Hyland has brought into the set up. Like a lot of posters, I too feel as though 10 points might be enough for promotion but it will be tight. Victory against limerick and we'll be within touching distance with games against Waterford and London to come.

LM4SAM (Leitrim) - Posts: 6 - 21/02/2019 14:32:20    2166786

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One thing Terry and his team have to work on which drives me mad - the inability of many players to see support runners e.g. how many times does Ray Mulvey make great runs up the right wing but is not spotted by the player on the ball who is looking down instead of up and around? In the unlikely event you read this, Terry, maybe think about doing lots of peripheral vision drills.

TheCartownBus2 (Leitrim) - Posts: 30 - 21/02/2019 16:05:15    2166804

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Best of luck to Terry and the team, unfortunately I am working but will be tuned in on the wireless. Hon Leitrim.

LM4SAM (Leitrim) - Posts: 6 - 23/02/2019 09:07:12    2167073

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Another tough game in store today, it's going to take a full 70 minute performance to get a result. Heading down to kilmallock soon hope to see a good Leitrim following there. Best of luck lads.

green.and.gold (Leitrim) - Posts: 363 - 23/02/2019 09:18:13    2167077

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Cup Final Day again today. Best of luck to all the lads. Hope to see a big Leitrim following in Limerick

MadAboutLeitrim (Leitrim) - Posts: 16 - 23/02/2019 11:30:01    2167106

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Limerick 0-7 Leitrim 0-5 at half time. Leitrim could be further behind as Limerick missed a good few goal changes.

Gaa_lover (USA) - Posts: 2424 - 23/02/2019 15:42:24    2167159

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