Double injury blow for Longford

A fantastic pre-season to date for Longford has hit its first bumps in the road this week with two big injury issues to report from “De Town” camp. Last weekend’s training camp and subsequent friendly victory away to Cobh Ramblers left Tony Cousins side in fine fettle for the remainder of pre-season with only three games left before the opening day trip to Wexford on March 4th. However, news broke prior to Saturday’s derby with Athlone that Rhys Gorman had suffered a serious injury in training and that fact was confirmed to those in attendance at City Calling Stadium this weekend as the sight of young defender Gorman hobbling on crutches sank the hearts of Longford followers. A fractured ankle the untimely and unwanted outcome for Gorman, who was voted as the club’s young player of the year last season, and it is now expected the former Shamrock Rovers man will miss at least the opening four weeks of the new season.

Gorman lifts 2014 title. Credit: Avril Gilchrist 

Given the small crowd at Saturday’s home tie with Athlone, which ended in a 3-1 triumph for Tony Cousins Longford, it would have been easy for the absence of striker Lee Duffy to go unnoticed. However, ‘Between the Stripes’ can officially confirm the new arrival from Drogheda United will also miss the opening month of the 2016 campaign, which sees Longford take on the likes of St.Pat’s, Finn Harps and Bray in the early stages. Duffy, who had made a great start to life in the Midlands with two assists against Limerick and a goal versus Cobh has suffered ligament damage, leaving him out for between four and six weeks.

Given Tony Cousins emphasis on using a new 4-3-3 formation in pre-season, the injury to Duffy is sure to have left a dent in the clubs attacking options with only Kaleem Simon, a scorer against Athlone, left as the only other forward with senior experience. However, with every cloud comes a silver lining and the promising performances of Karl Chambers should see the former under-19 striker gain some extra game time in the opening stages of the campaign.

It is now expected that Chambers and Simon will battle it out for the final forward position vacated by Duffy and they will have another opportunity to press home their credentials to Tony Cousins on Tuesday, as Longford host Galway United in an all Premier Division pre-season clash. It was interesting to note in the final quarter of Saturday’s win over Athlone that for the first time in pre-season so far, Longford shifted to a 4-4-2 formation and that option may now be more prominent than it previously was in Tony Cousins mind given the injury to Lee Duffy. Only time will tell and the trip to Waterford next weekend will offer the former Galway boss one final chance to tweak his tactics and personal ahead of the all-important big kick-off versus newly promoted Wexford.


New look Longford set to excite


While there can be no denying Longford Town’s success over recent seasons with the triumphant 2014 league winning season being followed up by a top six finish in the top flight last year, critics have pointed to a lack of exciting football on display throughout Tony Cousins six plus year tenure. Continue reading

Classy Longford cruise to derby day victory


With Athlone Town’s evening game against Wexford Youths in the Leinster Senior Cup called off early Saturday morning, it was all eyes and focus on the City Calling Stadium for the Midlands derby as the hosts ran out deserved 3-1 winners. Continue reading

Midlands derby match preview

LONGFORD TOWN V ATHLONE TOWN – Saturday, 20th Feb – City Calling Stadium, 3:00PM KO. 

It was on, it was off and now finally it’s on again. Nothing could get in the way of the first and perhaps only Midlands derby of the season taking place Continue reading

Where are they now? – Stephen Gough

In the first of an all new segment here on ‘Between the Stripes’ entitled ‘Where are they now?’, our very own club historian, Martin Stapleton will speak to a number of former Town heroes Continue reading