London manager Ciaran Deely looking for that Galway grit against Offaly
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London manager Ciaran Deely looking for that Galway grit against Offaly

Ciaran Deely knows his London side will have to raise the bar once more if they are to triumph in Tullamore tomorrow (1.30pm).

Drawing Division 3 side Offaly and giving some of the big guns the swerve in the qualifiers makes the goal of progression in the All-Ireland that bit more attainable.

Yet Deely knows John Maughan’s men are sure to provide stiff resistance in their own backyard.

Speaking to The Irish Post, he said: “I rate this Offaly side. I played against them a few times for Wexford. They have always been a good team. They work hard, they have a game plan and they stick to it.

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Offaly manager John Maughan consoles Niall McNamee of Offaly following the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Round 1 match between Meath and Offaly at Páirc Tailteann, Navan in Meath. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“They are always very fit and physical and with John Maughan that has gone to another level this year. So we aren’t viewing this as a favourable draw in that sense.”

London – fresh from an outstanding performance against Galway in the Connacht championship last time out – will face the Leinster outfit full of confidence.

“Galway are a top, top team, so for us to perform well against them and to be within a couple of kicks right at the end was pleasing for ourselves and all the players. We showed grit and determination and we’ll need more of that on Saturday,” said Deely.

“These lads give up so much for London. We’ve had other years where lads have worked hard in training throughout the year and gone out in the championship and maybe didn’t perform in a one-off game. There’s nothing worse. We didn’t have that against Galway.

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“What we focused on right throughout the week leading into that game was getting ourselves right and making sure we were fit enough and athletic enough.

“Then it was about making sure we had a good, solid game plan. That all the players knew exactly what role they had down to each individual player. Galway are an exceptional team. But if you put a good player under enough pressure, even they will make mistakes. If you give a top player space and time they’ll show you the reason why they are a top player.

“It was great to see lads like Eoin Flanagan step up. He man marked Shane Walsh and showed he can mix it with the best.

“Hopefully a lot of people can now see the work we are doing and it nearly came to fruition. But we are under no illusions that we’ll need to hit a similar level against Offaly.”