Friday, June 23, 2006

Reasons to BELIEVE

American rockers, The Counting Crows once wrote a song called 'Long December' in which the refrain goes, "Its been a long December but there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last." It’s a line that sticks with me and as I, my team and our club prepare for another summer of Championship football, we too believe that maybe this year can be better than the last.

Last September, we reached our first Senior Football championship final in almost forty years, for six unforgettable weeks our players, our people and our parish walked with heads held high and a permanent smile as our whole community were buoyed by our run to the final. Looking back, it was an incredible unforgettable time but belief deserted us dramatically on final day. I think, a friend of mine also a player described it best as 'The best and worst day' of his life. We were beaten and beaten badly, but by a team who like us also enjoyed a breakthrough summer. What little consolation it was, at least now it eases the pain.

But as the old adage goes, you cannot really appreciate the good times, until you have suffered the bad ones. I remember the day belief was born in our team, we were on the back of four straight defeats in the league and we faced with an away game with a team we had never beaten. The old May hoodoo of leaving cert and university exams had taken it toll on a young team but we soldiered on. Then facing our fifth defeat on the bounce something stirred, a stubbornness not to be beaten again. This resilience grew and over the weeks flourished amongst the team. Despite our defeat in the final, I don’t believe this resilience has ever left us, we suddenly over the course of last year, moved up a level away from been a 'nice' team with a soft underbelly to a tough team who know how to win championship matches, when all that matters is the conviction in the whites of your eyes.

Its this type of belief that has always typified the great teams, look at Armagh, a team of winners who never relinquish a game without fighting for their lives, examine Cork or Clare in hurling who know the level of intensity needed to win Munster and All Ireland Finals. The funny thing is that belief is not the birthright of the most talented, it can be harnessed by those who are searching to believe. Louth's achievements this season prove this theory, and it’s the one great trick every manager is desperate to pull off. Leitrim play Mayo this Sunday in the championship, on paper, pundits would say Leitrim to give Mayo a fright but the men from the west to ultimately triumph. For me its all down to belief, if the likes of Leitrim, Longford, Limerick etc can find this belief within themselves, believe in each other, believe in their right to win, to succeed, to triumph, well then maybe this year will be better than the last.

4 comments:

An Smuigin said...

An Smuigin watched his beloved Leitrim yesterday, fair play to the lads excellent second half display with encouraging signs. If we can improve on our free taking we will give Sligo a good battle. Heads up lads..ye could have a long summer yet!

Anonymous said...

hey lou ere!!good article..i like it! so i finaly found out how to
post an comment well any news since i talked to ya last(which was five mins ago u just rang!!) well anywho go to go see you friday!!! if not ill be thinking of u while i`m suning myself in Portugal!!! bye x

Longford Man said...

Brillant Longford..ten bad minutes against Kerry dont worry about it. We will be back next year..BELIEVE

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