Poland: I deserved more game time

December 23, 2017

Down's Mark Poland is tackled by Kieran Duffy and Colin Walshe of Monaghan.
©INPHO/Presseye/Andrew Paton.

Recently retired Down forward Mark Poland feels he earned more starting berths than he was given in his final season with the Mourne County.  

The Longstone clubman was limited mostly to appearances off the bench in 2017, failing to start in any of their championship games. He saw just 14 minutes of action in July's Ulster final defeat to Tyrone after having collided with Colm Cavanagh, picking up a bad concussion and receiving 15 stitches for his troubles.

Speaking to Belfast Telegraph this week, Poland says he felt he had deserved more game time than he was afforded by manager Eamonn Burns.

"It annoyed me. There is no point painting it up any other way," he stated.

"If we had won those games it wouldn't have bothered me.

"There wasn't anyone happier than me in the Athletic Grounds or Pairc Esler. But when you are really going at it in training and doing everything you can to make the team...

"But there were other factors too. It wasn't all about getting on or getting game time. I have never, ever took a Down jersey for granted."

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