Christopher Sweeney targets ‘maximum points’ as Rovers look to bridge USL gap

first_imgLETTERKENNY ROVERS newcomer Christopher Sweeney says the Cathedral Town men have to attempt to get maximum points in each of their remaining games this season.Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Cockhill Celtic at the Aura Leisure Centre sees Rovers trail the champions by nine points.With eleven games to play, there are still plenty of points up for grabs and, although it’s a tall order, goalkeeper Sweeney insists Rovers can’t lose their focus. A former Republic of Ireland junior international, Sweeney came off injured in the first half and, while the extent of the ankle injury isn’t too serious, he remains a doubt for Saturday night’s clash with Bonagee United at Dry Arch Park (kick-off 8pm).“Against Cockhill Celtic last weekend, it was disappointing too have lost because I think a draw would have been a fair result,” Sweeney says.“Credit to Cockhill they showed their experience and quality and that’s why they’re a top side.“ We’ll just have to focus our own camp for the rest of the season. We know it’s a big ask to try and catch Cockhill but we’ll just have to put in a big push now and try and get maximum points in all the games we play from here on in.” Sweeney’s move from Gweedore Celtic in Division One of the Donegal League to USL hopefuls Rovers was something of a surprise one, but then again the west Donegal man is well used to tales of the unexpected.In 2013, the Republic of Ireland Junior manager Gerry Smith put a call into Sweeney ahead of a game against Northern Ireland at the AUL. Sweeny was at a family wedding in Malta when he got the call and initially assumed it was friends mischief making.Christopher Sweeney pictured above receiving his junior international cap.“I hung up the phone actually thinking it was someone taking the piss!” he laughs now.“Gerry had come to watch a game at the AUL in the Inter-pros and I thought that was that. This was a few months after that and I’d kind of given up on the chance. When he rang back, I realised it was actually Gerry and it wasn’t a piss-take!” Sweeney kept a clean sheet against Northern Ireland in a 2-0 win and says of the experience: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shane Canning from Moville was playing that day too. It was a great experience to represent your country and it’s a day and a memory that I’ll always cherish.”Sweeney has played for the Donegal League’s Oscar Traynor team as well as having won the Donegal SFC in Gaelic football with Gaoth Dobhair. A ‘keeper of vast experience, he had played briefly with Rovers in 2013 and returned to Leckview Park last month.He says: “I got a phonecall one Saturday before Christmas asking would I be interested to play in a friendly match. That faired out well for me on the day and I signed shortly after in January.“I wanted to come to Letterkenny Rovers to challenge myself to see how I’d fair out. Gweedore Celtic understood my situation of wanting to try it out and they have been very supportive.” Sweeney’s first competitive game was on Sunday-week past when Rovers catapulted themselves back into the reckoning with a 3-1 win against Fanad United.He says: “So far it’s been very enjoyable. The tempo of matches is definitely faster and sharper than what I’ve been used to playing in the Donegal League.“Your concentration level has to be 100 per cent at all times, but so far I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to the season ahead with a great bunch of lads.“It’s a very competitive league and I hope more teams enter it.“The standard in the league is in incredible. It’s great to play in such.“Credit is due to all the managers and coaches at all levels and without question the caliber of players within the county is well up there at the minute. You only have to look at the amount of players from Donegal who are being capped at underage level at the minute.”Rovers reached the dizzying heights of the FAI Intermediate Cup final last year at Aviva Stadium. Although they bowed out this season in the opening round at the hands of Cockhill, Rovers still have plenty to play for this term.Sweeney says: “The lads did have a few disappointing results during the first half of the season, drawing matches that we were probably expected to win.“We put in a great performance in our first game back in the new year against Fanad to win 3-1. We showed great character playing with ten men for the whole second half.“We have to put Sunday’s loss to Cockhill behind us now and just focus on getting as many points as we can.”RESULTSLetterkenny Rovers 1 Cockhill Celtic 2Finn Harps Reserves 1 Bonagee United 2FIXTURESSaturday, January 21, 8pmBonagee United v Letterkenny Rovers       Referee – Marty Quinn; Assistants Paul Duddy, Marty McGarrigleSunday, January 22, 2pmDerry City Reserves v Cockhill Celtic          Referee – Packie Coll; Assistants Marty McGarrigle and tbcFinn Harps Reserves v Fanad United         Referee – Vincent McLoughlinUSLPWDLFAGDPTSCockhill Celtic971129101922Letterkenny Rovers93421816213Bonagee United8413915-613Fanad United83231411311Derry City Reserves83141914510Swilly Rovers81341022-126Finn Harps Reserves81251021-115TOP GOALSCORERS (League goals only)Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves)          8Darren McElwaine (Letterkenny Rovers)  7Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic)                       6Gerard McLaughlin (Cockhill Celtic)           4Aaron McCready (Finn Harps Reserves)    4Laurence Toland (Swilly Rovers)                4Aidan McLaughlin (Bonagee United)         3Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic)                   3William O’Connor (Cockhill Celtic)              3Max Karner (Derry City Reserves)             3Stephen Duffy (Derry City Reserves)         3Christopher Sweeney targets ‘maximum points’ as Rovers look to bridge USL gap was last modified: January 18th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more