Down bosses to take stock at county final
Down football team manager Ross Carr and his assistant D J Kane, already engaged in preparations for the 2008 campaign, have an important task ahead of them on Sunday.
They will take in the Mayobridge v Longstone senior county football championship final in which Mayobridge will be striving to extend their reign at the top in the Mourne County.
Down, beaten in the Ulster Championship by Monaghan and then eased out of the All Ireland qualifiers after a gritty performance against Meath, are hopeful of reaching the next level next year and manager Carr, a former All Ireland winner in 1991 and '94, is determined that no stone will be left unturned in the build-up to the new campaign.
On Sunday, some of Down's established players will have important roles in the domestic showpiece fixture. Mayobridge will provide the bulk of them with Brendan Coulter, Michael Walsh and Brendan Grant leading the way while Ambrose Rodgers can prove the ace in the Longstone pack.
Mayobridge have amassed a collection of titles of late but have not quite managed to get their hands on the AIB Ulster Club trophy. This remains a major target for the team who are strong favourites to triumph again on Sunday.
Down PRO Diarmuid Cahill predicts an exciting, skilful contest that might just prove closer than most people think.
"We have two very good sides in the decider and not only will they give the fans a treat but obviously our county management team will have an opportunity to take stock of the players on view. Down certainly has its share of talent and hopefully this will be proven next year," maintains Cahill.