Davy Burke has warned his players that no player is guaranteed a starting berth for Sunday’s opening Division One League game against Tyrone.
The new Roscommon manager cast the net far and wide during the two FBD games against Sligo and Mayo in an effort to unearth new talent, but a combination of injuries and Sigerson Cup games curtailed that search somewhat, meaning that some big calls will have to be made ahead of Sunday’s contest against the 2021 All-Ireland champions.
“We still have knocks, there’s a lot of lads not here so we still have a lot of key players out as you can see. But we’d be minding a lot of them. We’re going to go two weeks in a row against Tyrone and Galway, and we need lads fit,” was his assessment following last Friday night’s four-point defeat against Mayo at the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome.
“Ultimately, we’re getting better, there’s no doubt in my mind we’re getting better. We’ve a bit of quality to add in a bit of competition, but the big thing is that nobody on that team is safe because I fervently believe that it’s the downfall of every team — you have to have competition. From the two ‘keepers back there to 14 on the edge of the square, you have to see interchanging players. If we’re not happy, you don’t play,” he highlighted.
Despite the challenges he’s faced in ascertaining the strength-in-depth of his squad she he was appointed, Burke, who confirmed that players like Richard Hughes, Tadhg O’Rourke and Enda Smith would be available for the Tyrone game, maintained that he wouldn’t be offering up any excuses regardless of what happens against Tyrone.
“Look, we were appointed late and the weather was brutal. You know yourself, they’re all excuses and you’re not going to accept them off me next Sunday evening, so what’s the point in me telling you about them?
“Ultimately, yes we were short for time, but let’s get on and do it. We didn’t look too short for time today (against Mayo), so we’ll get there,” he predicted.
Our senior footballers take on Tyrone in Round 1 of the Allianz Football League on Sunday at Dr. Hyde Park. Throw in is at 1.30pm.
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— Roscommon GAA (@RoscommonGAA) January 26, 2023