by Daragh Small
New Leitrim manager Terry Hyland has laid down an early marker as he targets promotion from Division 4 of the Allianz League.
Hyland begins his reign in charge on Sunday when Leitrim host Mayo in the FBD League at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Cavan were promoted to Division 1 in 2016 under his stewardship but Hyland will have to start off in the bottom tier with the Connacht county.
Leitrim only had two victories in Division 4 in 2019 and finished eight points behind Laois and Carlow who were both promoted.
“It’s going to be a big step-up for everybody to get their goals and aims going forward. A lot of hard work will have to go in over the next few months to do that,” said Hyland.
“Promotion is one of our major aims for the year. It’s the first competition of the year and that’s what we will be aiming for.
“You go back to that old word momentum and how you build that up and get going. The unfortunate thing with momentum is it has to start from the first day.
“It’s not a case that we get to the middle of the league, like in Division 1, and say we need another two or three points to survive.
“We are on the opposite end of the spectrum and we need to get our hands on as many points as we can. That’s what we will be looking towards.”
But first up Leitrim face off against James Horan’s Mayo in the FBD League, a competition where they were crowned champions in in 2013 and ’14.
“I know sometimes teams find it is a bit of nuisance at that time of the year,” said Hyland.
“But when I was in Cavan we were involved in the McKenna Cup and always used that as a prep competition. We always found it a very very good competition to get lads blooded in.
“We will be hoping Leitrim will be making an impact, end of. It doesn’t matter whether that’s in the league or championship. It’s about creating an upward graph.
“We are not looking at any high points within that graph it’s just about keeping the graph going up for as long as we can.”