James hopes to use obstacles as strengths

The many obstacles that have been thrown in the path of Leitrim footballers over the years should be used instead as strengths according to captain James Glancy as he believes the County Senior side now has a freshness and youthful enthusiasm that will only benefit them in the long run.

The many obstacles that have been thrown in the path of Leitrim footballers over the years should be used instead as strengths according to captain James Glancy as he believes the County Senior side now has a freshness and youthful enthusiasm that will only benefit them in the long run.

The many obstacles that have been thrown in the path of Leitrim footballers over the years should be used instead as strengths according to captain James Glancy as he believes the County Senior side now has a freshness and youthful enthusiasm that will only benefit them in the long run.

In an interview conducted before the sad passing of his father Michael last week, James offered a frank and low-key assessment of Leitrim’s chances next Sunday in Markievicz Park but offered that the Green & Gold can still come away with a shock win.

“If we go up to Sligo and give everything that we have, empty the tank and play some of the football that we did during the League,” the Leitrim captain told the Observer, “We will come out the right side hopefully and with that little bit of luck we didn’t have during the League.”

If luck wasn’t on Leitrim’s side during the League, James, however, pulls no punches when he analyses why Leitrim haven’t made a championship breakthrough since they last time they face Sligo in the Provincical series, a Sligo team who have since gone on to win the Nestor Cup and reach last year’s Final against Roscommon.

“I think it is six years to the day that we played Sligo here in the championship and not much has really changed on our behalf but on Sligo’s behalf, they have obviously moved onwards and upwards, they’re trying to emulate what they did a few years ago and win another Connacht Championship. They got very close last year so we’ll be trying to go back to basics and hopefully come out the same side as we did six years ago.”

If his admiration for Sligo’s achievement is plain, so too is James’ frustration as the revolving door of players that seems to afflict the Green & Gold - “Things haven’t really changed that much for us from six or seven years ago, every year it seems to be that we lose a lot of players and new players come in and we’re starting from scratch again. From that point of view, we’re used to it at this stage so we can’t be using it as an excuse.

“I think the main difference between ourselves and themselves is the turn-over of players we have every year. They have a lot of players there who were here (Pairc Sean) on the 22nd of May seven years ago whereas we would be very limited as regards the players we had six or seven years ago. That is one thing I think that they have had and I think that stands to you.

“If the players stay and play with the team every year, you get into good habits and can eradicate the bad habits but if you are only dealing with players for a short period of time, you don’t know what you are dealing with.”

However, James is determined to use the obstacles as a strength - “It is definitely an obstacle and it is an obstacle we are trying to overcome every year but as I said earlier, we can’t use it as an excuse, we have to use it as a strength if we can. There is freshness coming in, we have new young players like Paddy Maguire, Adrian Croal, Paul Brennan and Emlyn Mulligan is like a new player back to us this year.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.