As his side prepare for a crack at league silverware, Offaly manager John Maughan has recalled the "dark days" when he took charge of his first training session in the Faithful County and only eight players turned up.
After 15 years languishing in the bottom half of the Allianz Football League standings, the midlanders will finally get a chance to play in Division 2 in 2022, thanks to a remarkable transformation under the Mayo man.
Offaly will be keen to keep their winning run intact when they face Derry in this evening's Division 3 final at Croke Park, with a quick turnaround to their Leinster SFC opener against Louth next Sunday.
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How have Maughan's Men been preparing for their Division 3 #AllianzLeagues Final against Derry?
Chuaigh @GAA_BEO chun cainte leo i rith na seachtaine. @AllianzIreland | #GAA | #OffalyGAA pic.twitter.com/8OF56NFUf8
“I came here three years ago and for a combination of reasons there was only eight who turned up the first night at training,” Maughan said in a special feature on Spórt TG4.
“It was pretty desperate. I think I made seven or eight phone calls and I got a lot of refusals, guys didn’t want to pull on the jersey.
“So, when you look at success for Offaly, the success of course is getting to Division 2 is visual, everyone can see that but the success for me is that we have young fellows here who just came in as part of the development squad, who are training here with the senior boys.”
He continued: “Offaly boys are not looking at the darks days of Offaly football, they are thinking about the here and now and they see things happening well.”Tweet