Brian Kavanagh: 'A game-by-game approach is vital for Longford'
By Brian Kavanagh
Former Longford footballer Brian Kavanagh has said that a ‘game-by-game’ approach will be the key behind his county making significant progress in this year’s Leinster Senior Football Championship.
Should the O’Farrell men get the better of Carlow at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday (throw-in 4.30pm), they will go on to face 2020 provincial finalists Meath in the last-eight next weekend. While it is tempting to think ahead, Kavanagh - an All-Ireland club winner with Dublin’s Kilmacud Crokes in 2009 - is adamant Longford can’t afford to think in these terms.
“From Longford’s point of view, it’s Carlow in the first round. A good accomplishment for Longford in Leinster would be getting to a Leinster semi-final first of all. We’ve only been to one Leinster semi-final since 1988,” Kavanagh remarked.
“Dublin are there, but there’s lots of other teams in Leinster that are around the same level. It’s just focusing on your first game, because if you don’t you’ll be caught and there’s no backdoor this year. It would be a pretty short summer for a lot of players.”
Courtesy of a relegation play-off success against last year’s Munster SFC champions Tipperary at Pearse Park on June 13, Longford retained their Division Three status for 2022. Although he feels it is difficult to read too much into league form, he saw plenty of encouragement in the performances produced by Padraic Davis’ side.
“It was a lottery of a league because we don’t know how much teams prepared due to the restrictions. Derry just blew Longford away in the first game, but Longford seemed to gain momentum then. They put up a decent performance against Cavan, a better performance against Fermanagh and then peaked against Tipperary,” Kavanagh added.
“It’s great to see they’re still in Division Three. That’s probably the level that they’re at, the top half of Division Three and trying to make the breakthrough into Division Two. It was a topsy-turvy league, but they seem to be hitting a bit of form at the right time now. They’ll be looking forward to the Carlow game.”