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Michael Duignan Credits Kevin Martin With Bringing "Excitement" To Offaly

Michael Duignan Credits Kevin Martin With Bringing "Excitement" To Offaly

One of the results of the National League's opening weekend, Offaly's dismantling of Pat Gilroy's Dublin hurlers was the county's first Croke Park in thirteen years.

Although few within Offaly will go so far as to suggest one promising win will put an end to their two-decade wait for an All-Ireland win, there is definitely a sense that something special is happening for Kevin Martin's side.

Speaking about the new regime under a man who claimed two All-Ireland wins with Offaly in 1994 and 1998, some of those involved revealed to Vincent Hogan in today's Irish Independent the manner in which things had changed.

Nigel Mannion, a clubmate of Martin's in Tullamore painted a clear picture of what the new manager expects:

I'll be honest with you, we were looking at inter-county players who were drinking during the Championship last year.

When Kevin came in, straight away, he put a drink ban in place and I honestly don't think they've had a blow-out since.

He has stalled that kind of thinking. If you want to fuck around, you won't be on this panel. You either want to play for your county or you don't. That's how he operates.

Having already lured back players like Conor Mahon, Dan Currams, Colin Egan and Derek Molloy, Martin's vision for this team's prospects are clear.

Another Offaly hurling legend in Michael Duignan is not so excited to say "we're back or anything like that", but even he believes that "there's a sense of excitement in the county we haven't had for years."

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Facing off against John Kiely's Limerick in the second round of the National League this weekend, Offaly will be aware that it is a must-win fixture if promotion is to be earned.

Yet, with the All-Ireland champions Galway also playing in the same division, it may as yet be too soon to be thinking along those lines.

For now, Offaly look like they could be on a long, but steady, road to recovery.

See Also: GAA Headline Of The Year Settled In The First Month Of 2018

 

Arthur James O'Dea

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