With the launch of the Ladies National Football league earlier this week the interest is now rising ahead of the start of the competition on Sunday next. For the Shannonside region it would be fair to say that the winds of change have swept through the corridors of power when it comes to team management. All three local sides Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon are all under new managers for the 2017 season and as a result hopes are high that the respective counties can achieve success in the year ahead.
In Leitrim, life after former manager Pat Costello will start on Sunday when the Galway man’s successor Philip Brady takes charge. Brady is no stranger to GAA followers in the Shannonside Northernsound region. The Mullahoran native brings a wealth of experience to the role and will be eager to hit the ground running on Sunday when his side play Limerick in Ballinamore.
The Munster side won promotion from Division four last season, and all things being equal the home side would be expected to prevail, however an earlier than usual start to the league and Leitrim’s late return to training is a cause of concern for the new manager who expressed his excitement of tacking the challenges of his new role when he spoke to the Shannonside sports department on Thursday afternoon.
Brady has only has only had the opportunity to conduct three sessions so far, however with number of players involved in college competitions, and a strong fitness reserve in the squad the new manager is not making any excuses ahead of the opening match with the treaty county.
Another major disadvantage is the fact that a number of the more senior players have yet to return to squad and are unable to commit for the early part of the season, so as a result a number of young players will be afforded the opportunity to impress in their absence.
Despite this Leitrim team being involved in the business end of the All Ireland Intermediate championship over the last number of years the new manger has detected from his early training sessions that the team are lacking self- belief and that will be one of the key areas he will have to address and build up their belief in their own ability.
Leitrim will have four games at home in the 2017 season and naturally those are matches where maximum points will have to be achieved. However with the likes of Roscommon, Tipperary, Wexford, Offaly and Meath all looking for early season success the third division will be extremely competitive and Brady will be looking to channel his own determination and desire to succeed to a young Leitrim squad.
Take a listen to the interview between John Lynch and the new Leitrim manager Philip Brady.