Happy in Division 4
At the beginning of last year, Longford, then trapped unhappily in the confidence-sapping Division 2, decided to embark on a three year plan to reclaim the Division 4 title by 2015. This plan is currently on schedule. The last time Longford were paddling around in Gaelic football's forgotten division they downed John O'Mahony's Mayo. Winning breeds confidence and, for Longford, Division 2 meant grinding defeats, Division 4 means winning. The realisation that they are back down amongst the easy prey in '4' should lead to Longford playing with confident exuberance this year.
Jack Sheedy won an All-Ireland medal with Dublin in 1995. However, he was cooped up in his tracksuit for the entirety of the final. He was the midfield general however, during Dublin's turbulent nearly years between 1991 and 1994, during which they failed to win an All-Ireland thanks to an uncommonly good wave of Nordie teams and Charlie Redmond's inability to score a penalty. But we know from other sports that managers who experienced disappointment during their playing careers make far hungrier, more motivated managers. And Dublin experienced a truckload of disappointment between '91 and '94.
Longford is, population wise, the smallest county in Leinster. Dublin is, by the slightest of margins, the biggest. The last time the pair faced each other, which marked the last time Dublin played a championship match outside of Croke Park, Longford gave the capital a serious run for their doe. Indeed, were it not for a blizzard of second half wides they would have won it. Longford have perhaps been lucky they have not drawn the Dubs at any stage in the past while. As a result, they are rare in Leinster for not being psychologically scarred after a hammering from the Dubs in the recent past. Hell, they even beat the Dubs twice back in 1968 and 1970. The Dubs are the team to beat and people say Meath don't fear the Dubs. With a proud record in the fixture and a county board that knows how to assert itself, it should be Longford don't fear the Dubs.