Cooney welcomes home comforts

June 05, 2019

Westmeath's manager Jack Cooney. ©INPHO/James Crombie.

Westmeath manager Jack Cooney is keen to make the most of their home advantage in Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Waterford at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

The Midlanders head for the back-door route following their defeat in the Leinster SFC quarterfinal to Laois a couple of weeks ago.

They will be hotly fancied to see off the challenge of Waterford, although Cooney stressed to the Westmeath Examiner that there is no way they will be complacent against the Division Four side.

“I think the fact that we have home advantage is very pleasing. You can’t underestimate the bonus of playing on your home turf,” said Cooney.

“There are so many positives. From a player’s perspective, there’s the familiarity of the grounds. Travelling to Waterford would have been a bit of an unknown for us and then there’s the travel time it takes to get to Waterford, compared to the time it takes our players to drive to Mullingar.”

He added: “They proved from this year’s Munster football championship that they are capable of putting it up to the counties in the higher divisions. They almost beat Clare on that occasion and in last year’s All-Ireland qualifiers they sprung a massive shock after they dumped Wexford out of the championship. We certainly won’t be taking them for granted.”

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