Home comfort for Exiles as Cavan must travel to London for football qualifier
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Home comfort for Exiles as Cavan must travel to London for football qualifier

AT least one more senior inter-county match will take place at The Emerald GAA Grounds at Ruislip as London will face Cavan in a round 1a All Ireland football qualifier on Saturday, June 20.

It was a somewhat bittersweet Monday morning for London, who were given a home draw - albeit against one of the most imposing outfits the Exiles could have faced.  “This is certainly going to be a tough game, but it will help us concentrate even more,” manager Paul Coggins told The Irish Post.  “They were probably one of the best teams on our side of the draw- I don’t think anybody would dispute that.

“They are a Division Two team and they weren’t far off being promoted so they will bring a good, physical team over.  We know that, but it is a challenge we are greatly looking forward to.  These are the type of matches in which you want to test yourself in - matches against good, developing teams.”

Having played a challenge at Butlersbridge in May the teams will be familiar with one another according to Coggins, who also highlighted the involvement of former London selector Kevin Downes, now part of Terry Hyland’s coaching ticket with Cavan.

“With Kevin Downes being involved in the Cavan set up and obviously Lorcan (Mulvey) such a key player for us there will be no secrets.  Both camps will know plenty about the other so we will just have to deal with that aspect of it.

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“It is going to be a demanding game, but it is one we should greatly look forward to.  I’m really looking forward to it now already myself.  They played very well against Monaghan; they were unfortunate not to get a win in that game.

“But we can also take great heart from the way we competed against Roscommon.   We gave everything we had and we competed extremely well.  So for us to get another match in Ruislip is brilliant.

“It will be another important occasion for London and hopefully the Gaels here will back us again to create a good atmosphere.  We are hoping to get good support for the match.”

Cavan’s run of four Ulster under 21 titles in a row between 2011 and 2014 has injected the county with optimism, but Coggins insists London can be competitive.

“We will concentrate on ourselves.  Between now and the game we will have a look at how they set up.  They are a strong side and anybody looking at it will say it is a Division Two outfit against a Division Four outfit.

“Overall we cannot dwell too much on those things, we will simply be doing our level best to produce a performance.  We did that against Roscommon, we are focusing now on the fact we are playing Cavan.  We cannot worry too much about what they think of us and whether it is a tricky encounter for them or not.  We just want it to be a fantastic day.

“Since the Roscommon game we have been working on things.  It can be tough at this time of the year because with the ground becoming hard and the increasing amount of matches guys can pick up injuries that little bit easier.  We will just have to monitor the situation by making sure we look after the lads properly.

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“We intend to play a game or two against some club teams.  Our preparation has been and will continue to be very good.  It is important to play them matches because you learn things in a game situation.  We will need to be ready for Cavan.

“It is clear to see they were one of the better teams on our side of the draw.  We know another big challenge awaits.  We met the Roscommon one as best as we could.

“We’ve a good set of lads; we have plenty of good footballers, who will be keen to show what they can do.”

Coggins also revealed that Conor Sheridan and Tony Gaughan have a ‘slight’ chance of featuring when Cavan visit London next week.  “Injury wise Conor Sheridan is doing a bit of training at the moment and Tony Gaughan too.

“Still it is too early to know whether we will have them available or not. I don’t think Greg Crowley will make it.  Otherwise we have a few small injury problems.  Lorcan got a knock last Saturday week, but hopefully he will be okay.”