"Having no games is a big disadvantage" - New York GAA boss on how they nearly shocked Roscommon

Justin O'Halloran chats to Off The Ball about Connacht opener

BY Raf Diallo 16:31 Wednesday 4 May 2016, 16:31 4 May 2016

A general view of Gaelic Park ©INPHO/Ed Mulholland

New York manager Justin O'Halloran says his team were "very confident" before they almost shocked Roscommon in their Connacht football championship opener on Sunday night.

O'Halloran, who played for New York in the past before becoming manager joined Off The Ball on last night's show and had expectations that his players could give one of the provincial favourites a run for their money.

"To be honest with you, we were very confident going into the game. I know people would say, 'why would you be confident?' But we've a good group of lads here and they all fed into the system. We came close but we didn't cross that line," he said, although he feels his team had Roscommon "on the ropes".

Preparations began in January, although a lack of matches in the build-up was a stumbling block.

"Having no games is a big disadvantage to be honest, but we kept a big panel. We kept 42, 44 lads and we're able to play in-house games. A couple of clubs teams here played us and we had a game in Philadelphia too," he said.

"But obviously playing the talent that Roscommon have would have been a huge advantage to us but it won't happen and it didn't happen."

He also spoke about the potential that some inter-county stars like Galway's Michael Lundy and Armagh's Jamie Clarke  who are currently based in the New York area could link up with his team someday.

But even leaving that to the side, O'Halloran is confident about the future of New York football.

"I've no doubt in my mind that we can compete. Not a doubt at all," he said, adding that he will liaise with the county board to see if they can get more pre-championship games from next year.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week