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Pessimistic Longford Management Release Explosive Statement Threatening To Quit

Pessimistic Longford Management Release Explosive Statement Threatening To Quit
By Conor Neville Updated

Less than a month out from their Leinster championship opener, the recently appointed Longford management are threatening to quit.

The threat was prompted by the failure of the CCC to postpone a round of club League fixtures.

In a cutting statement issued this afternoon, they said that their preparations have been so inhibited that they do not now believe they are likely to beat Offaly in the first round of the Leinster championship.

They said they are now preparing for the qualifiers.

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The Longford Leader reported that manager Denis Connerton and his backroom team held a crisis meeting last night to “to reconsider our situation in regard to continuing in our role.”

The paper also revealed the contents of the statement this afternoon.

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This is the fourth time that a round of League Games couldn’t be completed in one day.
This has hampered our preparation for the Championship as we have had to cancel numerous training sessions and at this stage we unfortunately feel that we are unlikely to win the first round versus Offaly.
Therefore we feel we are now preparing for the Qualifiers and we hope our preparation for this competition will receive  greater support. Our elite players deserve better.
We have to ask how other county teams manage to have much greater free time leading up to their respective provincial championships and we can’t?
This was never an issue in Longford before as previous management teams got ample time to prepare.
Our preparation has been made seriously difficult due to the fixing of League games involving county players on the following dates: March 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th, April 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 29th and May 1st.
After a productive training camp abroad, funded by the players, we met with the Fixtures Committee (CCC) to voice our concerns regarding players’ welfare and fatigue and pleaded that Round 5 of the Club Leagues in Longford be postponed to aid our preparation for the first round match in Leinster.
We stressed that we had already lost home venue due to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park being unable to accommodate the expected crowd for this match even though the stadium was able to facilitate a Division 1 fixture involving our neighbours Roscommon with a very large attendance.
We further stated that our record in the Leinster Championship has been poor and as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our National League victory surely everything that is possible within our own county to enhance our young players’ chances  of progressing should be done.

The management also cursed the loss of home advantage. Longford have beaten Offaly in the last two Leinster championships, with last year's surprise victory coming in Tullamore.

But they have been forced to surrender home advantage and return to Tullamore for the second year running owing to the subsidence issues in the ten-year-old Main Stand in Pearse Park.

Connerton managed Longford in the first half of the noughties, guiding them to Division 1 in 2004 and supervising a modest upswing in the team's championship performance following the dismal 1990s. This would be built on by his successors.

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After doom-laden reports indicating that 44% of players had declined to join the panel last winter, Longford enjoyed a heartening League campaign, consolidating their League status, and relegating neighbours Westmeath in the final game in the process.

It wouldn't be the first time a Longford manager quit so soon before the championship. In 1995, manager Tom Donohue resigned at Easter, angered by the players' level of commitment. The county board decided to take control of the team themselves. They faced Meath at home in the First Round.

In the Irish Times, Sean Moran profiled the situation in Longford under the headline 'Liechtenstein role model for Longford'. Liechtenstein had just held Ireland scoreless in Vaduz.

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Longford didn't do quite as well, losing to Meath by fifteen points.

Read more: Frustrating: See Just How Little Tommy Walsh Has Played For Kerry Since His Return

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