Louth boss Wayne Kierans admits there could be changes to his team for Saturday's Leinster SFC quarter-final against Dublin. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
There is scope for change to Louth’s team for Saturday’s Leinster SFC quarter-final against Dublin, manager Wayne Kierans concedes, that may include beginners’ berths for Ryan Burns, William Woods, Derek Maguire, or them all.
The O’Connell’s man’s agreement that there are ‘horses for courses’ suggests he may match his side up differently than was the case in a fortnight ago’s victory over Wexford.
He has options, certainly. Burns and Woods put their hands aloft on Slaneyside to compete with the chosen inside duo of Sam Mulroy and Declan Byrne, while Conor Grimes’ physicality is an attractive prospect given the Dubs’ perceived weakness in the full-back line.
Maguire has played less than a half under Kierans this year, club and other commitments curtailing his involvement, but he’s available for selection and his experience may well see him elbow others out of the way when the management begin to select their team.
The Young Irelands man was absent from the matchday squad versus Wexford, but Kierans confirmed after the game that he would be in contention ahead of the All-Ireland champions’ trek to O’Moore Park. Sure, with such a carrot dangling, who wouldn’t be, the Louth boss suggests.
“If anybody doesn’t want to play against the likes of Dublin and Kerry, what’s the point of playing inter-county football?” he tells, or asks, The Democrat.
“It’s a privilege to play one of the greatest teams of all-time, but we can’t get lost in the occasion, we have to perform and improve our performance from the last day.
“If we produce a good performance then we can savour the experience of playing them.
“If they’re one percent less when they’re out of Croke Park then they’re still at a very high percentage.”
He adds: “If you go out and get a heavy defeat, people say you don’t learn anything, but you’re always going to learn something, I don’t care what anyone says. People will always have a black or white scenario: ‘ah, they’re much better than us’.
“But, how are you going to improve? You can continue to eulogise about how good they are, what they have and bemoan the fact that we have nothing or don’t have this, or you can put your shoulder to the wheel and be willing to put yourself out there and try and get that performance.
“You have to be positive.”
Mayo official Jerome Henry has been selected as the match referee.
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