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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Carlow will be very disappointed if we don't do ourselves justice: Foley

Carlow's Darragh Foley celebrates following the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Round 1 match between Carlow and Wexford at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow. Photo: Sportsfile
Carlow's Darragh Foley celebrates following the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Round 1 match between Carlow and Wexford at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow. Photo: Sportsfile

More than anything else about Carlow football's most recent what-could-have-been, Darragh Foley can clearly recall the words of Jim Gavin to the inhabitants of a disconsolate home dressing-room after the 2010 Leinster under-21 semi-final.

"It's something that always comes up," he told the Herald in advance of Saturday's senior clash between the pair.

"We always have a bit of regret over it. Unfortunately we haven't had that much success the last couple of years.

"It was very hard to take. You see what they've gone on to achieve after it. There is a bit of 'what if'?

"When you look back," Foley recalls "they spoke very highly of us. They had their homework done on us that day.

"And I'm sure they'll have their homework done on us the next day."

Foley admits that Carlow fancied themselves that day against a team that would go on to win the U21FC All-Ireland, spawning seniors talents such as Jonny Cooper, Rory O'Carroll, James McCarthy and Dean Rock. Naturally, Saturday is different, though he is adamant that Carlow have "nothing to lose and everything to gain," in Portlaoise.

As for what would constitute a successful experience for a team who prior to beating Wexford two Sundays back, hadn't won a Championship game in six years, Foley is philosophical.

"We'll be very disappointed if we don't do ourselves justice," he stresses. "Our pure focus is go out and do ourselves justice, do Carlow justice. We don't want to go out there and get annihilated, as people are saying - that we're going to get beaten by 20 points or whatever.

"We're going to go out there and try and give Dublin a game.

"You tell yourself going into any game you're going into that you have a chance.

"Dublin are a superb team. An absolutely superb team. One of the best ever.

"But we want to give it a rattle as best we can. We'll take it individual by individual.

"If we can win our individual battles," Foley adds, "you never know what can happen."

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