ROCKCORRY manager Donal Quigley feels that the side are just those extra few percent away from once again being a force at junior level in Monaghan.
The Clones man is in his second year with the side and he has admired Rockcorry’s championship journeys from afar, particularly their run to the Ulster title in 2015.
It was against his home club that Rockcorry’s season came to an end last year as Clones earned a 1-13 to 0-13 win in the quarter-final. Quigley though is hopeful for what lies ahead – if they can maximise their resources that little bit more.
“The whole uncertainty of last year of not knowing if there was going to be football, and if there was what shape or form it would be in, meant that some of the lads had maybe switched off a bit.
“Some of them maybe wouldn’t have been mentally as prepared as they would have liked, which is understandable if you didn’t think there was going to be any football. Keeping yourself motivated during lockdown is no easy task.
“What we have done this year is to put the onus on the players to try and keep in some sort of condition for when we do get back to collective training.
“It’s a good group with some very good footballers. They have played senior football, they have won an Ulster Junior and have competed at intermediate, so there is a football team there and you just want everyone to put in as much effort as possible to bring that to the fore.
“A lot of it will be about getting physically prepared because the football is there, the ability is there.”
Many of the 2015 side remain, and Niall McKeown is back after his brief spell with Louth side Mattock Rangers. Quigley said that there has been a very welcome injection of youth that should bring more competition for places in the coming months.
“You have the experienced boys leading the show, Mark Daly, our captain Noel Carroll, Niall McKeown.
“We have a few lads back who hadn’t played in a few years. I’ve mentioned Niall, he was with Mattock Rangers, Stephen Lynch was back too. Andrew McPhillips coming back was another big plus.
“You have a lot of good players there in their mid-20s, Fergal McGeough, Conor McGeough, Lorcan Smyth, they’re all damn good footballers.
“We have a few young lads who have come in and done really well too, the likes of Conor Clerkin, Gerry Larmer and Ryan Lynch have impressed.
“There is a great team there.”