London set for 3rd round of qualifiers

London manager Paul Coggins has said he is certain that Saturday’s long-awaited Championship victory will not be a once off for the side. The exiles won their first match at that level since 1977 at the weekend and are keen to build on what they have achieved.

“We’ve worked so hard to achieve this. They’re a great bunch of players and they’ve put everything into it,” said Coggins, who only took over last year.

“The work was put in and the performance was immense. The players have bought into everything we’ve asked them to. But the lads aren’t finished yet. We’re looking forward to the season continuing for another while. We’re not going to stop here. We’ve got to keep improving.”

Coggins is originally from Granlahan in Roscommon, but emigrated to London in 1988 and played with Desmonds, Clann na Gael and Brian Boru. He played with the London senior team during the 1990s, before going on to win four senior titles with Tir Chonaill Gaels as manager.

The recession has helped the exiles in recent seasons and a number of ex county players are now based in the English capital. If these players continue to give their all to the cause then Coggins believes that London can continue to be a force in the championship.

Last night’s second round draw for the qualifiers saw London handed a home tie against Waterford. While the Munster side have improved in recent years and are perhaps a little better than their form suggests, it does afford the exiles a realistic opportunity of making the third round.

“We have a very good panel of players who have worked extremely hard on their fitness. That’s the first thing I would concentrate on because our fitness is really at a high level,” said Coggins.


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