Down captain Rogers desperate to hit big time again
Down skipper Ambrose Rogers has set his heart on making up for lost time when 2011 dawns.
The Longstone clubman missed the greater part of his county’s championship odyssey this year because of injury but this has made him even more determined to bring success next term.
Rogers (25), a full-time coaching officer with the Down board, played one of his best games in the famous red and black jersey in the Ulster semi-final defeat by Tyrone at Casement Park but subsequently found he was out of the picture because of cruciate ligament damage.
Indeed, in that game against the Red Hands, he landed a spectacular early point and had helped to set the tone for what many thought would be a shock result.
“I thought in the first twenty minutes against Tyrone we had established a platform for victory but to be honest they carried too much craft and power for us and they shut the game out,” observes Rogers. “It was a very chastening experience, you might say, but at a players’ meeting on the following Tuesday there was a great show of resolve and the upshot was that we reached the All Ireland final.”
The fact that they lost to Cork by a point in the decider made things even harder for Rogers to bear as a spectator.
“I felt for the lads — they had put in a magnificent effort right through the qualifiers,” he said.
“Now I want to get back into the side next year and help to bring success in terms of silverware. Our manager James McCartan has been saying that although we had a great year we still had nothing tangible to show for our efforts and you can’t argue with him.”