Manager’s corner (24.3.16)

When your season enters March you are hoping to be at or near the top of the table to give yourself a chance of success. With seven games to go we have done that but it will mean nothing if we don’t continue to work as hard as we have done since the end of June last year. That work has already brought the success we have had in the Premier Cup final and has given us the desire to push on and hopefully add to it. What we have shown so far this season is an unquestionable desire to never give in. There have been games where we have not played as well as we can, including the cup final, but have shown that we are capable of grinding out results and playing right until the final whistle. A sign of a good team is when they are tested and we have stood up to the challenges we have faced this season so far. However we have seven tests remaining in the league along with another cup competition.

We have never allowed the players to get ahead of themselves and the old football saying of ‘taking one game at a time’ has never been more appropriate for us. The players themselves, whilst confident, have never displayed a hint of arrogance. Arrogance brings a lack of respect and respect has been one of our core principles this season. No matter who we play we prepare in exactly the same manner. The coaching staff will ensure that the players have the right mindset from the minute we meet as a group. That mentality within the group drives each other on and is added motivation for them to play as well as they can. People had questioned how we would cope with a large senior squad but recent games have shown how vital it is to have that squad. We lost Decky Carville through suspension but Kevin McArdle came in and has been brilliant for us. Timmy Grant has missed most of 2016 but Sean Hand has returned from America and slotted straight in with goals and assists. We are now getting most of our players back from injury and they will all have some part to play. One player who won’t play again this season is Niall Crilly who unfortunately had to have a knee operation. It’s a testament to Niall’s character that he played most of the Premier Cup Final with this injury and although he will be missed on the pitch he continues to be an important member of the squad off it.

Whatever happens this season we have made huge strides both on and off the pitch. As the manager it is my role to ensure that this progress continues and I can assure our fans that we could not possibly be doing anymore to ensure that happens. We have had magnificent support so far this season and I urge you to continue that support at this vital stage to help the team in our quest for success.

Yours in Sport,