The Roscommon Masters team are in All-Ireland action this Saturday when they take on Cavan in the Plate final in Drumlish, Co. Longford, and manager Anthony Carroll says preparation has gone well since his side’s convincing semi-final win over Down.
“We should have a full squad to choose from so we are in good shape heading into Saturday’s final. We are as prepared as we can be and we’re confident but you don’t win finals easy and Cavan have won games to get this far too,” he said.
“We were a bit later starting this year due to Covid and that affected some of our early results. When we started back in September we were still missing a few players due to club commitments but once they came back we beat Galway and then went on to beat Down”.
Roscommon’s campaign was slow in getting off the ground due to the number of players involved with their clubs.
“I’d say around 80 per cent of our players are still playing at a fairly high level with their clubs, be it Intermediate or Junior A,” he said.
“If we had a full panel to choose from earlier in the year we could have been competing in the main event this weekend. There’s no doubt that we are capable of that and we have new players becoming eligible each year. Lads can play Masters as long as they turn 40 at some stage during the year so next year we should a few more coming on board”.
Conditioning is important at any level and Anthony believes club training will stand to his players this weekend.
“It’s roll-on, roll-off subs so you need a big panel and you can’t expect lads to just turn up and tog out without some level of conditioning. It’s not fair on them and that’s when injuries occur and we have had a few this year,” he said.
“But the club games take priority too and that’s understandable. Now that the club championships have finished we should be in a good position heading into Saturday, but Cavan will also be in a similar situation”.
While quietly confident ahead of Saturday’s showdown in Drumlish, Anthony says nothing can be taken for granted.
“We played Cavan in a challenge earlier in the year and beat them by a few points but both teams were missing players so you couldn’t really gauge too much from that. Finals are different but hopefully it all comes right for us on the day and we get it over the line,” he said.
Roscommon Masters take on Cavan this Saturday at 2 pm in Drumlish ahead of the All-Ireland Masters Final between Dublin and Tyrone.
* Roscommon Masters would like to thank St. Faithleach’s GAA for the use of their facilities and the following sponsors ahead of the All-Ireland Plate Final: FRS Boyle, Kalzen Tool Hire, Carrick-on-Shannon, Paddy Finns Bar, Kilteevan, Timmy’s Bar, Elphin, JPK Fencing Systems Ltd. MacMull Plant Hire, Elphin, and Smith Kelly Scott Auctioneers, Boyle/Elphin.