By Damian Dolan.
Paul Coggins cuts a relaxed figure. He’s just completed a photoshoot for Philips after being named their Manager of the Month for June, and you wouldn’t know it from looking at him that he was about to become the first London manager ever to lead his team into a Connacht final.
This championship campaign has been a one hurdle after another for Coggins and his team, and James Horan’s Mayo are just another obstacle, if a very sizeable one indeed.
The Exiles have been riding the crest of the wave since beating Sligo at Ruislip on May 26 and then defying the odds against and the pundits against Leitrim, and Coggins is determined that the occasion of Sunday’s final to his Exiles.
“It’s going to pass you by if you play the occasion and not the game,” he said. “You have to make a decision that you’re going to concentrate on the game and that’s what I intend to get across to the players.
“A lot of people from London, and all around Ireland, are spending good money and we’re not there to enjoy the occasion. We’re there to put in a performance that we want to be proud of.
“It’s another challenge and another wall to knock down – it’s great. I’m really looking forward to it.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World