Following two confidence boosting results against Westmeath and Galway, JP Rooney believes Louth will be approaching Sunday’s Allianz NFL Division 2 clash with Tyrone game a cautious sense of optimism.
“Tyrone are going to be a good benchmark for us this season. In Galway we felt as if we should have gotten the win, but we took a lot of positives from that match and also the opening win against Westmeath. We’ve been training hard since then and we’ve Micko (Mick Fanning) and Whitey (Brian White) coming back, so everyone is fighting hard for a place.”
In the opening two games of the Allianz League Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick has utilised his bench extensively and JP was one such player introduced against Galway.
“We’ve a large squad and Fitzer has used five substitutes in each of the last two games. Which shows all the lads that if they train hard they have a great chance of getting into the team.”
Looking forward to the remainder of the league campaign, the Louth full forward is hoping for more of the same.
“We’re in a good place right now. We targeted a good start against Westmeath and the point over in Galway was another boost as well. We’re taking it each game at a time right now.”
Rooney has recently joined with Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health and the Gaelic Players Association to act as Youth Mental Health advocate in Louth. As part of this ambassadorial role JP will be taking part in a mental health literacy education programme with Headstrong which will include the running of workshops and getting young people active.
“I was only too delighted to help out when I got the call. I think we’ve all been in situations when we were younger when you find it difficult and you need someone that you can talk to.
“It’s the same for young athletes or footballers, there’s a certain amount of pressure and sometimes we can go through great highs but then also great lows. I just hope that this campaign will promote greater awareness both locally and nationally.”