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08th Feb 2022

London GAA captain reveals how they have returned from the abyss and taken “the shackles off”

Lee Costello

“Everyone is just happy to be out there enjoying football again.”

Two years without a competitive game, now two matches, and two wins under the belt – London GAA is well and truly back.

Captain Liam Gavaghan, has been involved with the London set-up for years, but their absence from the league and championship for the past two years has been tough.

The nature of London GAA means that there is normally a big turnover in players, with some leaving and some joining, but with the two-year absence thrown in, no one really knew where they stood.

10 points down in the opening game against Carlow at half-time seemed to tell a story, but their incredible comeback to get the win, and the fact they made it two for two last weekend against Waterford, is an even better story.

“That two-year break has maybe done a bit of a reset for us, and with the new lads coming in, there’s now quite a bit of youth in there, and there’s a real energy about the place, everyone is just happy to be out there enjoying football again.

“I think there’s only 12 or 13 of us left on the panel from before COVID, so with 20 plus lads joining and really buying in, it’s really helped us, and the intensity of training has been really good.

“In my previous years with London, we always would have started the league quite slowly and only got into the swing of it by the end, and obviously with us being a new team again we weren’t really sure where we were at, or what to expect.

“We knew we had a really good training camp in January, and at half-time against Carlow when we were 10 points down, we just didn’t think that was a fair reflection on us. We missed a lot of opportunities, while they were very clinical.

“In the second half, we laid it all out there, took the shackles off, went for it, and thankfully we got the win.

“We could then take that momentum into our next game against Waterford, and when we went down again, we felt like we were still in the game, while in previous years if we were seven points or so down, maybe the heads would have dropped.

“We had a strong wind in the second half, and we just knew that we could turn the whole game around. Obviously we only take it one game at a time, we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves.

“We targeted the Carlow game, all the way through pre-season, looking to get a performance there, then when we got the victory we wanted to take it into last weekend, and managed to get another win.”

In two weeks’ team, the Exiles will take on Andy Moran’s Leitrim, hoping to get their third successive win.

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