The breakthrough that London have made this year has surprised many but the man who was named man of the match last Sunday, Stephen Curran insisted the success the team are currently enjoying is a result of hard work over a sustained period.
“This has been building for two or three years,” said the Kerry native. “The manager Paul Coggins, the backroom tea, county board officials, there has been a lot of work put in. We started training back in November, four or five nights a week. That takes a fair commitment and I don’t think a lot of people realise what London were doing this year. We had a sports science guy, Paul Murphy, strength and conditioning. Everything was done very professionally.”
While London have seen off the challenge of Sligo and Leitrim their victories have been regarded as real upsets and Stephen is hoping the exiles get the credit they are due having become the first London team to reach a Connacht final.
“I hope we get a bit of recognition. We’re not a flash in the pan, we knew we had the belief from last week. We felt we didn’t perform last week to be honest, we had one half today and that was good enough! In the Connacht final hopefully we can raise our game. Mayo are serious hot favourites but we’ll give it our best shot.”
The fact that London continue in the provincial stage of the All-Ireland series rather than enter the qualifiers means London will have an extra week without having to flock to various airports around London to fly home for a game of football.
“The hassle we had this week trying to fly back and get flights. Tony O’Halloran did a great job, he’d be our liaison officer with the county Board. There were guys flying from north, west and south London. I think we flew out of two different airports and into two different airports in Ireland. The flights were crazy, I don’t want to know what they cost.”