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Evans: Title a confidence boost
27 Apr 2015 09:09
John Evans said victory in the Allianz Football League Division 2 final would give his Roscommon side a confidence boost in the Championship and for their time in Division 1 next season.
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The Rossies saw off the challenge of a 14-man Down side 1-17 to 0-15 to take the Division 2 crown, a result that sets them up nicely for their Championship opener against London on 24 May.
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Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the game, Evans hailed his side’s work ethic, though he admitted the sending off of Down's Benny McArdle after a second yellow card had affected the game.
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“We’ve worked hard for it. I suppose the sending off did take from the game a small bit,” Evans said.
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“The first half was a bit of a damp squib, but, you know, we got some very, very good scores [in the second half]. We came out in the second half and we got at the game.”
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Evans said the final had been an opportunity for some of his younger players to gain experience of playing at Croke Park, and that the win would help his side’s development.
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He has previously spoken about how, with his side having secured back-to-back league promotions, and the U21s having won their provincial titles, Roscommon’s footballers are on the rise.
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“We’ve trained extremely hard and, of course we’ve consideration of the final, and we wanted to give the guys a chance there,” he said.
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“It was great to see young lads getting out on the field, that haven’t experience of Croke Park."
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“I’m just delighted that we got through it, we got over it. We have picked up one injury, I think. And fair play to Down: they stayed at it, they stayed going.
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“We’re just happy to win back-to-back titles. We’re a growing team, and it’ll give them that little bit more confidence for next year and maybe even for the championship this year.”
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Next up for Roscommon is the trip to Ruislip to face London in four weeks’ time in the Connacht Championship. Evan said the Rossies would continue their tough preparations, and hailed his side’s attitude.
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“We’re building of course for that. We’re training very hard,” he said. “I’m just delighted for this bunch of lads. They’re responding to every beck and call. Mind you, at half-time, we’d to give them a few becks and calls!”
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