Just three home games for Rossies
The new Roscommon senior football team management will have a tough National Football League campaign in 2012, with only three games at home and four fixtures away, People Sport can exclusively reveal this week.
Roscommon will open their Division Three campaign against Tipperary at home, with Offaly away in the second round of games. There are further home games against Antrim and Cavan. There are away fixtures in Offaly, Longford, Wexford and Sligo (in the final game).
The full line-up of fixtures in the 2012 NFL are as follows:
Round 1 v Tipperary (Home): An interesting start against a county whose football fortunes are on the rise. They beat Roscommon the last time the teams met in the league at Dr. Hyde Park. Not an easy start, but at least itís at home.
Round 2 v Offaly (Away): Like Roscommon, Offaly are looking for a new team manager. They have been in the doldrums in recent years but have some excellent players. Always hard to beat in Tullamore.
Round 3 v Longford (Away): Roscommon fans will remember that these teams drew in the group game last year and were well beaten by Longford in the Division Four final in Croke Park. A tense local derby in prospect, as usual.
Round 4 v Antrim (Home): This will be a game that Roscommon will be hoping to win. Antrimís star has slipped after their heroics of a couple of years ago when they had a good championship run in Ulster.
Round 5 v Wexford (Away): Looks the hardest game in the division. Wexford were a revelation in 2011 and with Jason Ryan as manager and top class players like Ben Brosnan in their ranks, this will be a very tough game for Roscommon.
Round 6 v Cavan (Home): Always a good clash between these two teams. Roscommon have beaten Cavan and lost to them in recent years in the league and there is not much between them. At home the fans will be hoping for a win.
Round 7 v Sligo (Away): Another tough game in prospect. Sligo have a good recent record against Roscommon in the league Ė but not in the championship. A local derby to finish the campaign and one which could bring a big crowd to Sligo.
Meanwhile, Roscommonís minor footballers will open the defence of their Connacht title with a home tie against Leitrim in a preliminary round game on the 23rd June 2012. The winners will play Galway on the 30th June in the semi-final. Mayo will play Sligo in the other semi-final.
2012 Connacht MFC draw: Roscommon v Leitrim (23rd June); Mayo v Sligo (24th June); Galway v Roscommon or Leitrim on June 30th. Final (15th July).
In the 2012 Connacht U-21 football championship Roscommon have been handed a tough draw as they will play the winners of the Galway v Mayo clash which will take place on the 23rd March. Roscommon will have a home game against the winners of that encounter on the 30th March, with the final taking place on the 21st April.
Connacht 2012 U-21 draw: Galway v Mayo (14th March); Roscommon v Galway or Mayo (21st March); Sligo v Leitrim ( 24th March); Final (21st April).