New manager Joe Quaid says he wants to guide Westmeath to “the top echelons of Leinster hurling”.
The former Limerick goalkeeper has succeeded Michael Ryan, who last year helped the Lake County qualify for the inaugural Joe MacDonagh Cup final.
“Look, it is a challenge, it’s a massive challenge, but it’s something we relish,” he told Midlands 103. “If you don’t have challenges in life, if you don’t have something to aspire to, you may as well give up. We saw in Limerick this year what they achieved. We buried 45 years of hurt and despair. That’s what we want - to get that kind of mentality into the Westmeath hurling people.
“The one thing I’d ask of the hurling people in Westmeath is that we’ll do our best to give them a product that they’ll enjoy coming to see, long term, but they need to back the players. We need good crowds at the matches and we’ll give them something to shout about.
“We want to come in and bring it to another level, I suppose. The long-term goal would be to get Westmeath up into the top echelons of Leinster hurling, but also be able to sustain it up there and drive on. There’s no point we coming in and giving an initial blitz to them up to win Division 2A and get out of the Joe McDonagh and just be a yo-yo team. We want to put the structures in place, and a plan in place that, when we do go up, that we’re able to sustain it and drive on from that.”