Normally a Leitrim team runs a million miles away from the tag of favourites but Enda Lyons seems to be embracing expectations.
When it was put to him that victories over Galway, Mayo, Sligo and semi-final opponents Roscommon means Leitrim will start the Connacht Minor Championship as favourites, Enda smiles before adding “Favouritism is only a tag, it doesn’t really change anything.
“As I say to the group all the time, all we can work on is ourselves, if we perform and perform to the ability I know the boys have, we’re a match for anybody in this country. I’m very, very confident of the group of players I have, they work extremely hard, they are very diligent, they’re very committed.
“So if people put the tag of favourites on us, they put the tag of favourites on us, favourites don’t really bother me.”
However, the current Leitrim goal-keeper is not foolish enough not to guard against over-confidence - “We just have to make sure we get our head down, we work harder than we worked already, increase our fitness level and work on some more game plans and whatever takes us takes us from that.
“It still doesn’t change anything from my own point of view, my focus has been June 28, against Roscommon, first round of the championship and that is the bottom line. It gives us a great springboard to come from the League, it gives us great confidence but it doesn’t change anything, all of this will be no good if we don’t perform against Roscommon on June 28.”
And the Carrigallen man was full of praise for the Leitrim players - “I can’t speak highly enough of the players, everything I’ve asked of them this year they’ve done.
“They’ve trained hard, they’ve worked to a game-plan, they’ve great belief in themselves now which is a great change for Leitrim teams, we now expect to beat the big teams instead of going out the other way round.”