Westmeath footballers hopeful of extending their championship season

Maryland clubman and Westmeath captain, Kieran Martin, is hopeful of a return to championship winning ways when Waterford are the visitors to Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Sunday

Maryland clubman and Westmeath captain, Kieran Martin, is hopeful of a return to championship winning ways when Waterford are the visitors to Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Sunday

The disappointment of a Leinster championship quarter final loss will have faded from the memories of the Westmeath senior football management and squad should a win be achieved over Division Four opposition, Waterford, in the first round of the All Ireland qualifiers in Cusack Park, Mullingar on Sunday (throw-in, 3pm ).

In what was arguably the Lake County's poorest performance under Jack Cooney's reign, a two point loss to Laois ensures a different path to championship season extension must now be navigated.

Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, team captain, Maryland's Kieran Martin, noted that the feeling of disappointment which was prevalent in the post Laois match dressing room must be promptly put to one side as the All Ireland qualifiers commence.

"We are obviously looking forward to a quick return to competitive action and to work the Laois game from our systems. It was the manner of our performance against Laois with which we were most disappointed and even playing below our normal levels, we still had opportunities to win the game," Kieran remarked.

Ahead of throw in on Sunday, the Maryland clubman emphasised the need to get a positive start over their Deise opponents.

"If we can get a positive start, Waterford will have to forego their defensive style and then it will be up to us as a team to capitalise and take the scoring chances should they be presented. Winning brings momentum and should we be successful on Sunday, we can build with confidence ahead of the next stage of the championship," Kieran commented.

The squad has been working to eradicate the negatives of the Laois experience, while continuing to enhance aspects of their performances honed to date, having tasted competitive defeats on just two occasions since the turn of the year and Kieran, in his role as team captain, is one of a number of leaders accentuating the positives prior to Sunday.

"The captaincy is a badge of honour but there are numerous leaders in our dressing room. All of the squad are leaders in their own right and will have a role to play as we strive to extend our championship season.

"The younger players within the squad obviously look towards the more experienced members for guidance. The panel is tight and strong this year, so hopefully if afforded the opportunity, all the players involved will contribute to furthering our championship season," Kieran enthused.

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