The quest to retain the O'Byrne Cup remains firmly intact as Westmeath strive for an ultimate fixture date in the competition, a semi-final fixture against Offaly awaiting in Bord na Mona O'Connor Park, Tullamore on Saturday afternoon (throw-in, 2pm ).
Unbeaten in their three round robin fixtures (winning two and drawing one ), Westmeath are building early season confidence and momentum prior to the start of the National Football League which this year will see the Lake County experience the surrounds of Division 2, following the annexation of the Division 3 title in 2019.
The success of Westmeath's Division 3 league campaign was based on their positive showing in the O'Byrne Cup which allowed management to introduce fresh playing impetus to the squad.
Their noted enthusiasm for the county cause, coupled with the key attributes displayed by the squad's experienced members lead to an undefeated O'Byrne Cup campaign and a sense of belief forming prior to the start of the season's league campaign during which defeat was only tasted on one occasion - a solitary point loss away to Down.
Confidence manifests from positive results achieved and hopefully, that the same scenario will unfold in the forthcoming fixtures, with Offaly (also undefeated in competitive outings to date ), to provide a stern test for Cooney's charges this weekend.
Should Westmeath succeed on Saturday, a final contest against Longford or Dublin awaits as minds then turn toward matters league and an opening day throw-in in TEG Cusack Park against Clare on Sunday, January 26.
Players and management will no doubt have this league start date etched in their minds and with seven round robin encounters to contest as they strive for a place in the divisional final at the end of March, the maroon and white clad footballers will be determined to continue in a positive mindset with promotion the obvious ultimate goal prior to Leinster Championship 2020.