Promotion ‘not going to be easy’ for Drumhowan

By Kieran Lynch

DRUMHOWAN sit in second place in the Monaghan Junior League, having made a strong start to the season.

Their manager, Tony Collins, says that while he’s pleased with their form to date, he feels that there is still more progress to be made by his charges.

“We’re content enough I suppose,” he said.

“We got ourselves into the semi-finals last year which was our target, and that’s our target again this year. But it’s all about progression; these boys are proving themselves all the time, and they really believe in themselves. So, we’re generally very happy with how things are going at the minute.”

Having come up just short of promotion to Intermediate last year, Collins says that the team have prioritised having success in the league, so that they can build a winning mentality, which carries them through the rest of the season.

“Success breeds success,” he said.

“We have quite a panel building in Drumhowan, and everybody needs gametime. The B team are playing well now too – they’re in the semi-final of the Championship.

“But of course, we see the league as important and we want to go out and win every game, because it’s important to get the winning mentality instilled into the squad, so that hopefully, it can carry through to the championship when it arrives.”

Whatever the case is this season, Drumhowan have plenty of reason to be excited for the future, with plenty of young talents on the way through.

“There is a good young crop of players there, with a few lads coming through in and around the 20-year-old mark,” said Collins.

“Plus we have a crop coming through for next year which has four county minors. We had two lads on the Monaghan u-20 panel last year and Daragh McElearney was on the u-20 panel the year before, so we have a good calibre of boys coming through at that age.

“But we also have elder statesmen too, so for us, we just need to get that bit of a blend between both. The numbers aren’t big in Drumhowan, but there is a bit of quality there, which is key.”

Will that quality be enough to take them up a division?

“It’s not going to be easy,” said the manager. “It’s just a case of keeping competitive in all of these games and I suppose we will need a little bit of luck to get there too. We need to keep injury-free, which is key for teams with lesser panels; but mostly, we need good work ethic, and the boys have worked hard thus far, and we’d like to think that it will keep going.”

There is no doubting the competitiveness at the Junior grade in Monaghan right now, with only two points separating the top seven sides, any of the teams will fancy their chances of going up.

For Drumhowan, there is no denying that they’re in the mix, but they won’t be overlooking any of the competition just yet.

“We’d like to think that every year you go into it, that we’re in the mix for promotion,” explained Collins.

“There is no point in not setting those sorts of goals, but we do realise that there are a lot of experienced teams at this level, and there is a lot of football to be played yet.

“There is plenty of competition, and you only have to look at the league table to see how tight it is. There is nothing really between any of the teams at all.”

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