Colin Walshe still aiming high for Monaghan
By Cian O’Connell
Crucial Allianz Football League Division One matches are arriving thick and fast, but Colin Walshe is satisfied with how Monaghan have responded following an opening weekend loss to Mayo.
Malachy O’Rourke’s gritty team subsequently defeated Kildare and Kerry ensuring four points are in the account ahead of Saturday’s Castleblayney clash with Tyrone.
That promises to be another intriguing and hard fought battle with Walshe encouraged by Monaghan’s continued willingness to graft.
“It is great to get points on the board, four out of six from the first three games is a good enough return,” Walshe admits.
“We were disappointed after the Mayo game, it was a game that could have went either way in the finish. We were disappointed at the time not to get at least a draw out of the game.
“I suppose since then we have bounced back and we have managed to get two wins on the trot. It is great to get four points on the board, but we know ourselves that we have plenty of work to do after all the games so far.”
Tyrone are next on the agenda, but Walshe relishes the fact that vital games arrive with such frequency in the spring.
“Yeah, that is it, you are just trying to make sure that you improve each week, to take as much as you can out of each match to move on to the next one,” Walsh says.
“It is great at this time of the year with League football, matches are coming thick and fast. They are weekly, there is little time for training, it is mostly about recovering for the following weekend.”
During the past year Walshe acknowledges that the depth of the Monaghan panel has become stronger following the integration of several exciting talented young footballers.
“We probably have and a good bunch of lads have come through from good under 21 teams,” Walsh acknowledges.
“You see boys like Dessie Ward and Conor McCarthy and at the same time we have managed to hold on to an awful number of boys. Not too many players walking away from playing with Monaghan, that is probably showing now.
“We have built up a few years experience throughout the squad. We have a lot of players and when you add a couple each year then four or five years down the line you build a really strong squad.”
How Monaghan remain such a respected force in Division One and in the Ulster Championship confirms what can be achieved through careful planning and maximising resources.
“We don't tend to look too much at other counties around the country at what they are doing comparing it what we are doing within Monaghan we have a very good set-up in place with very good sponsors, very good management and backroom team,” Walshe adds.
“The County Board then are very compatible with the squad in terms of looking after them, but the players themselves are there.
“Not too many players walk away from playing with Monaghan, the best players are giving up their time and being committed to playing with Monaghan. It is great that they are doing that and we have been competitive.”
A hectic spell looms for Monaghan, who face four demanding tests during the remainder of the Division One campaign.
“The more points you get on the board you will be safe and secure your status in Division One,” Walsh says about the challenges which await.
“That is first and foremost, but we have a strong squad with a lot of players looking for game time. Malachy has done that so far, he has changed the starting XV around game on game and you have other players still looking at game time over the next few weeks to get their chance to impress.
“It will be a bit of both, trying to make sure we get game time into as many players and at the same time still aiming to keep climbing up the table.”
Always eager to develop and improve, Walshe is an influential figure for a defiant Monaghan outfit.