By David Hennessy
London manager Paul Coggins has told The Irish World that his team have taken encouragement from a solid performance against Roscommon ahead of their qualifier clash with Cavan at 2pm on June 20. Coggins also commented that comments about London made on The Sunday Game were just “disrespectful” to London GAA and all involved with it.
London forward Lorcan Mulvey will be playing against the county he has represented at all levels. There will also be a reunion with Kevin Downes, the former London coach who is now selector with Cavan.
Paul Coggins said: “We know what’s ahead of us, we’ve met Cavan a couple of times over the last few years so I don’t think there will be too many secrets between the two sides.”
Cavan play two divisions above London in Division 2 and ended London’s great run in 2013 in a qualifier in Croke Park.
Coggins continues: “It’s a big bonus to get the game at home. It’s a big challenge, we’ve a lot of respect for Cavan but at the same time we have shown that we can compete against Division 1 and 2 teams over the years, we won’t fear anybody.”
London lost by seven points to Roscommon in their Connacht Quarter-final. Hitting fifteen wides during the course of the game, it was a a lack of clinical finishing that saw London lose out.
“I think people maybe over emphasise the misses, I mean the creation of the scores was really good work. We got the chances, we didn’t take all of them but that’s gone now, we’re looking forward and we’re looking positive and if we get as many chances again, I’ll be a very happy man.
“It was a really, really competitive game and if you ask anyone in Roscommon, they will tell you that. We know it and I know the lads gave 100% and I can never ask for anything more than that. I know we had as many shots as Roscommon, it’s just we didn’t take our scores and that was the big difference really in the game
We know what to expect and what works and what doesn’t work more importantly so we’ve taken great heart and we look forward to the next game against Cavan. I think it’s something to look forward to, not to have any huge trepidation about.
“It’s all about how much lads want it. We want it and I’m sure Cavan are hungry for it so I would expect it to just be a really good ding dong battle. We’re going to give it our best shot like we’ve always done.”
Speaking on the Sunday Game, former Roscommon goalkeeper Shane Curran suggested London did not deserve to be in the competition.
About such comments, Coggins says: “We know we’re a competitive team, we know we work hard, we know we should be in the championship, we’ve always competed well and I’m not going to say anymore about it.
“If people want to make their opinions to get seen on television or whatever, that’s up to them. We’re a good unit. These lads and my backroom team are a really really brilliant bunch of footballers and people. I know it and it’s just a little bit disrespectful to those people, the London county board and the clubs that are over here.”
Former Cavan footballer Lorcan Mulvey said: “We have to use any little advantage that we get. Being in Ruislip is a big plus for us and hopefully it will not be the last game there. We’ll be able to win and go on from there.”
On London’s defeat to Roscommon, Mulvey said: “We created more chances than Roscommon but we didn’t convert enough of them, we didn’t take enough scores so that’s our main focus and we also need to get our tackle rate up so they’re the two main things we have been working on. You have to take the positives but there was also negatives that we needed to work on and I think we have done that. We have a few lads back from injury now as well so we’re in a good position at the moment.”
Lorcan refers to Conor Sheridan who is now back training and some other players who have recovered from knocks.
“It’s no good unless you turn up on the day. We’ve get our heads right. We know who we’re playing, where it is, what time it’s at now so it’s focusing in on that now and getting it right for Saturday week.”