Having been selected to captain Leitrim for the coming year Emlyn Mulligan started the opening FBD League game on the bench so it wasn’t until last Sunday’s game in Ballinamore that he led the county into action for the first time and it proved to be a day to remember as Leitrim got the better of Mayo for the first time since the 1994 Connacht Final.
Commenting on what it means to be selected to captain his county Emlyn said, “It’s great to play for your county never mind captain it. It’s a great honour for myself and my family to represent the county as captain and it’s a lot better when you are able to captain your county to such a great win as we had here today in Ballinamore.”
While Emlyn and ever body associated with the Leitrim team appreciate wins at this time of year may not have as much significance as games in the coming months he stressed the importance of building a winning mentality.
“You start as you mean to go on and winning is a habit and it’s one that we haven’t’ had over the years. Our main aim is to bring the confidence we had in the qualifiers last year into this year, keep the players we had from last year and get a few more in which has happened thankfully.
“We’re trying to change our mentality in this county and at this time of year we are able to compete. I know Mayo were on holiday and they’re coming back and weren’t as fresh and we had a lot of work done but it’s great for the boys it gives belief to progress in the National League and the boys are all delighted. We’re not going to get carried away but it’s a great win to get this time of year, especially coming off a great win against Roscommon last week.”
The winning mentality Emlyn speaks about does not just revolve around the National Football League or the Connacht Championship and he believes the FBD League is the perfect opportunity for the Leitrim to develop that mentality and improve confidence within the county’s football community.
“You’re talking 19 years (since the last win over Mayo), these are the things we need to change in the county and the only way you can do that is by winning games regardless of what the competition is. We’re treating the FBD League seriously because you have to earn the right to be winning Connacht titles. If it’s a case that we have to win the FBD League first then so be it. We’re over the moon and it gives a the lads great confidence for going back training this week and we’ll look forward to GMIT next weekend.”