Temporary manager Danny Clarke Picture: Willie Donnellan
Temporary manager Danny Clarke believes the foundations are being laid for a successful senior team in the years ahead despite Leitrim ladies suffering a body blow to their promotion hopes.
Chatting after the 11 point loss to Carlow in Mohill on St Patrick’s Day, Danny believes that Leitrim will challenge for honours in the years ahead: “I’d hope over the next 12 months, Leitrim football would be in a similar position.
“With the foundation that the new committee have put in place, that the players and the hard work that we are putting in currently, I have no doubt that it will reap rewards in the future,” said Danny.
Clarke stressed that Leitrim needed a full complement of players available: “We missed a couple of key players today through x, y and z, I’m not going to get into it, it is for another day’s task to deal with.”
Dealing with the parting with Gavin Cawley, who brought Danny into the set-up, was not easy either: “It is not easy but at the end of the day, time moves on and we just have to move on. For the love of football and the time the girls are putting in, we just have to keep the ball rolling.
“You can see that there are improvements to be made but there is strength in numbers and you have to be there for the jersey and every girl who wore the jersey today did themselves justice today.”
The Leitrim boss also felt that Carlow’s fast start was the difference: “It is a cliche to say that goals win games but we had an opportunity in the first half when we were a point down and we hit the post.
“That four or five inches made the difference in that and we should have gone in at halftime in front.
“With a gale force wind in the first half, we probably should have been further than that ahead but the fact of the matter is that Carlow took their opportunities very, very well.
“Not taking away from the negative of the result but there were a lot of girls today that got their first opportunity in a game, girls that deserved a run out during the year.
“We went out with a belief in the strength, hard work, resilience and effort that the girls put in and you can see that we emptied the bench today and some girls who got the opportunity took it with both chances.
“They hit us with 1-3 and at the end of the day, if you are conceding 1-3 at the start of a game, you don’t expect to be running a marathon starting a couple of miles behind the rest. That is what we need to sort out.
“Ladies football can be very fast paced starting off and I just think we need to look at how we are starting games because in previous games, we let ourselves down for the first couple of minutes.
“But you can see the consistency throughout the rest of the game, the girls gave everything, they did the best they could and you really can’t ask anything more.
“The belief is there and all it really is the bit of hard work in the background that we need to put in and I think that come the end of the year, we will see the fruits of our labour.”