Antrim have one eye on summer as they bid to end League campaign on a high
Allianz National Football League Division Four: Antrim v Wicklow (today, 2pm, Corrigan Park)
NO hope of promotion, no threat of relegation, there is nothing but pride on the line for Antrim and Wicklow today as they bid to end their League campaigns on a high note.
For the Saffrons, it’s not the way it was supposed to be. Last year they came close to getting out of Division Four but this time around the dream was all but dead after the opening fortnight.
Victory over London brought the only points they have managed to put on the board after five games, with defeat in Waterford last time out serving only to add injury to insult.
Assistant manager Brendan Trainor admits it was a long bus journey home from Waterford, but hopes that finishing the League on a positive – ideally with victories over Wicklow today and Limerick next week – would send them towards the summer in better spirits.
“Every game you play you want to win it, that’s the bottom line,” he said.
“We want to win these last two League games and try to pick up a bit of momentum going into the Championship.
“In Division Four, there’s not even a relegation battle to focus you. There’s nowhere to go so once you lose a game or two, promotion’s probably gone and relegation doesn’t come into it.
“But myself and Lenny firmly believe that, every day you pull on the jersey, you have to deliver your best performance. That’s a mark of a winner, maybe when there’s not much to play for at times but you still can perform well and produce the goods.
“I have to say the players have been very good, training has remained fairly good despite being down at the bottom of the table.”
Full-back Ricky Johnston is rated very unlikely to feature today after picking up a shoulder injury, while long-term absentees Conor Murray and Kevin O’Boyle are in a race against time to be fit for Antrim’s Ulster Championship meeting with the winner of Derry and Tyrone.
St Enda’s duo Kristian and Peter Healy are also unlikely to be seen back in county colours until that game.
Antrim: Will be coming
Wicklow: R Lambert; E Murtagh, R O'Brien, J Snell; D Devereux, S Mooney, D Fitzgerald; D Healy, P O'Toole; D Hayden, C McGraynor, T Smith; M Kenny, C O'Brien, G Murphy.