Carroll relishing Louth’s Croker test

With the build up to the big Leinster Senior Championship clash with Dublin reaching fever pitch, Wee County midfielder Ronan Carroll is certain that every Louth player will be up for the fight when the teams meet at Croke Park on Sunday.

With the build up to the big Leinster Senior Championship clash with Dublin reaching fever pitch, Wee County midfielder Ronan Carroll is certain that every Louth player will be up for the fight when the teams meet at Croke Park on Sunday.

“Nobody needs any motivation for this game. You’re playing in Croke Park, probably one of the best pitches in the country. You’re playing in front of maybe 30, 40 maybe 50,000 people and the game is televised.

“That’s what you’re playing Gaelic for, you don’t want to be playing Junior Two games all your life. If you don’t enjoy this, you won’t enjoy anything.”

Despite the fighting talk the Ardee man is well aware of the hype surrounding Dublin this year.

“There’s going to be a great buzz around the Dublin camp now that they have the Sam Maguire in their back pocket. Hill 16 will be singing. There’s probably very little pressure on us but we still want to put in a big performance and I think we’ve something to prove.

“We haven’t beaten Dublin in a long time and we didn’t play too well against Westmeath so we’re hoping to pick up from that and hopefully we can maybe surprise a couple of people.”

The Dubs will no doubt have watched the Westmeath game with interest, but Carroll hopes that game knocked Louth into championship shape.

“Everybody prepares as hard as they can for a championship match, they (Dublin) would have been looking at this game for a long time and they would’ve seen us against Westmeath. Maybe our game in Navan might have dusted off some cobwebs.”

The similarities with the Leinster Final year of 2010 are striking, especially regarding Louth’s slow performance against Longford that year.

“That was just another dogged performance and it was just about getting the result and a lot of people would have said the Westmeath game was something similar.

“Then the game against Kildare that year, no one expected Louth to win at all, but we put in one of our best performances in a long long time on that day.”

The ghosts of the Westmeath performance two weeks ago are still fresh and the Louth midfielder discussed what went wrong on the day.

“The first half went well, I think as a whole everybody played well but in the second half we failed to get a bit of possession in the middle third and it really showed in our performance. We struggled to string a few passes together and probably that effected out confidence.

“However in the end Westmeath never got any more than three points away from us and we knew we were only a matter of a kick of a ball away and we never stopped.”