Westmeath ready for Offaly challenge

May 05, 2017

Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin.
©INPHO/Donall Farmer.

Ensuring that his players are motivated for the Leinster SFC opener against Offaly next month will be an easy task for Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin.

The sides are very familiar with each other having met in the championship frequently in recent years, including last year's clash at Cusack Park which the Lake County won.

Cribbin is bidding to guide the side to their third consecutive provincial final, but they face a tough opener against their neighbours.

If they manage to beat Offaly, they then could potentially play Dublin in the Leinster semi-final and Cribbin told the Westmeath Topic that they are keen to take on the reigning All-Ireland champions once again.

"We'd love the opportunity to play Dublin this year. We feel it's a building process in the mentality to be able to play them," said Cribbin.

However, he acknowledged the fact that they first have the small matter of getting over their neighbours and fierce rivals in O'Connor Park.

"Offaly in Tullamore is going to be tough. It's a derby game. When we have met them in recent times there has only been a point or two in it.

"Home advantage would give you that and we won't underestimate Offaly. We will be very focused. There is no love lost between both sets of players and for some reason Pat (Flanagan) and our lads seem to have a thing for each other. We won't have to motivate them for that game."

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