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Saturday 16 December 2017

Longford Town in for long haul​

New boys Longford won't over-stretch

Mark Sammon, Longford Town, during the launch of the SSE Airtricity League. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Mark Sammon, Longford Town, during the launch of the SSE Airtricity League. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

THEY have scratched that seven-year itch by winning promotion back to the Premier Division at long last.

But Longford Town, who last played in the top flight in the pre-financial crash season of 2007, maintain that their hunger for success will not see the free-spending ways of the past come back.

Longford head into the 2015 with a great deal of stability, the longest-serving manager in the league (Tony Cousins) and a squad largely made up of last season's promotion-winning panel.

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Cousins vows that fans of rival clubs who visit Longford this season will see one of the best stadiums in the country while also promising home supporters that, whatever happens on the field, there will be no boom/bust cycle.

"Myself and the chairman agree on the budgets. This season I would have loved to ramp up the budget but I know we would be struggling financially after six weeks and the club would end up in trouble, the gloss of winning the league would be gone," said Cousins ahead of his sixth season as Longford manager.

"I could easily have signed the kind of players who could win you a league but the same things would happen as happened before, we'd end up not being able to pay the players and that brings a sourness into everything.

"So we have upped our budget by 25%, that makes sense. We will see what kind of gates we are getting and reassess things down the road but we are going about things the right way."

​A fresh-looking City Calling Stadium will impress visiting fans, says Cousins, but his battles will be on the field. "There are seven full-time teams now and how that affects the rest of us remains to be seen," he says.

"The difference between us and the full-time squads is the rest periods, when you have three games a week, when your players are up for work at 8am the day after a game and the other clubs are in for a cool-down. But we're hopeful it goes well and we're looking forward to it."

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