Whereas a new era in Leitrim football will get under way on Sunday afternoon when the County senior footballers will face GMIT in the opening round of the Connacht FBD League there is most definitely a link with the management team to the most successful times in Leitrim fortunes.
The current day team manager of the Leitrim senior team is Benny Guickan, the St Mary’s Club man is steeped in the tradition of Carrick and Leitrim football and when you look at who the former midfielder has surrounded himself with then there is every reason to be optimistic about the year ahead. Two times All Ireland winning manager with Galway, John O’Mahony is back and so too is the 94 All-star winning full back Seamus Quinn. Another Mayo man in Michael Moyles has also joined the backroom so there is experience in abundance as Guickan looks to restore the fortunes of his native county.
The Leitrim preparations for the 2017 season are finally taking shape, granted the late finish to the Club season in 2016 disrupted the early season planning, however the rookie manager is happy that things are beginning to fall into place. Once again at the start of an intercounty season, Leitrim find themselves in the familiar position of team building again. When speaking to Shannonside’s john Lynch during the week the former St Mary’s player and manager made no secret that the foundation of their team will be built the classic ingredients of youth and some experience. Guickan has elevated a large number of the recent and current under 21 players to the senior ranks and has also tempted back in some of the counties former footballers to add some physical strength to the side. Unfortunately not all those invited in could give the commitment due to work and family demands, however he has attracted some Dublin based players, and thus the upcoming FBD league campaign will afford him and his management team the opportunity to run the rule over those players prior to the start of the Allianz Football league in February.
Guickan has also taken over the Under 21 side and they made a successful start to the Hastings Cup competition with a win over Wicklow on Monday last. The under 21 team will face Meath tomorrow (Saturday) while the senior team will get their FBD campaign underway in Mohill on Sunday afternoon when they face GMIT.
Shannonside Saturday and Sunday Sport will carry live coverage on both matches over the weekend and below you can listen to the interview between Benny Guickan and Shannonside’s John Lynch.