Terry Hyland begins his competitive reign as Leitrim manager as his side line up against Mayo in Sunday’s FBD League Semi-final.
The Connacht council have this year decided to run the competition over a straight forward knockout basis, after bad weather disrupted last year’s competition with the league fixture of Roscommon v Galway not played.
“I’d prefer the games to be honest” declares Hyland, wishing for a return to the old FBD League format.
“Having been used to the McKenna cup system in Ulster, we always felt it was a good prep for the national league games” explained Hyland.
“It was pre-organised, you couldn’t pick who you were playing and you had to work out a strategy which is what the national league is about” added Hyland.
— Connacht GAA (@ConnachtGAA) January 4, 2019
The new Leitrim boss was keeping his cards close to his chest before his new look Leitrim take to the Avantcard Pairc Sean MacDiarmada field, though want Leitrim to be competitive.
“We’d like to give everyone a rattle, there’s no point going into a game if you don’t want to be competitive” declared the Leitrim boss.
“Our conditioning isn’t going to be near the likes of Mayo boys, who have a couple of guys in their early 30’s. So they’ve been around a lot and have the conditioning in their legs.”
“Our lads wouldn’t be near to that but we will be look to competitive as long as we can.”
While damping expectations the Hyland admitted his pleasure with how his opening six weeks or so with the Leitrm panel had developed.
“The Lads have put in a hard six weeks, we’ve played a few new players and there will be a couple of old hands playing also and maybe a couple of players who have played in different divisions. “
“There’s still a bit of work to do, but I’m very happy with the commitment level and the work that lads want to do.”
“To be fair to the Leitrim board they have allowed us run with what is currently a very large panel, but I’ve an old saying, ‘you won’t learn anything at home’”.