Roscommon captain Ciaráin Murtagh said the players have used the 11-week break between league and championship to good effect and are looking forward to getting back into competitive action this Sunday.
“It was nice to get the long break between league and championship. We got in a lot of extra work and now we are in championship mode and looking forward to it now. We have been playing well in challenge games but you can’t go by those results really. Leitrim will be really ready and up for this challenge but we are trying to play games and get lads used to handling the ball and get our game plan in operation because championship is so much more intense. I wouldn’t pass too much heed on the challenge games. It’s all about playing football and getting ready for the championship,” he said.
Murtagh believes that lessons have been learned following a disappointing National League campaign.
He said: “Even though we didn’t have a great league, we learned a lot playing against the top teams. Of course it would have been nicer to be winning those games but I think that there are a lot of positives that we can take out of the league campaign and we can use that to our advantage and move on and rectify our mistakes.”
Sunday is a different story however and the St. Faithleach’s clubman is excited at the prospect of playing championship football in Roscommon town.
“We can’t wait to get out on the magnificent new pitch here at Dr Hyde Park. I am looking forward to the Roscommon crowd coming out and supporting us. They are very loyal and are there for the good days and bad days and it will be great to be at home here on Sunday,” he said.
Ciaráin will be teaming up with some very familiar faces once again as brothers Brian and Diarmuid are also on the Roscommon panel and in decent form.
“It’s nice for the three of us (brothers) to be on the panel and thankfully we are injury free at the moment and enjoying our football and it is a great honour to be the captain of the team again this year and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves on Sunday,” he concluded.