Past defeats can fuel Down, feels Guinness

Down's Daniel Guinness in action against Limerick in Croke Park.Down's Daniel Guinness in action against Limerick in Croke Park.
Down's Daniel Guinness in action against Limerick in Croke Park.
​Daniel Guinness has been a power-house for Down throughout the season and there’s no doubt that the half-back will give it his all against Laois on Saturday in the Tailteann Cup final.

​While Down’s last outing in Croke Park in the Tailteann Cup semi-final couple of week’s ago was fruitful, there have been memorable losses at Croker in recent times too but he feels they are experiences to learn from.

“I think, especially the two big defeats we've had in the finals between Meath in the Tailteann Cup last year and then Westmeath in the league final this year, we knew what was at stake going into them games and unfortunately in both games we sort of fell short,” said Guinness.

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“We don't think we performed anywhere near to what we think we're capable of, but I think we've learnt and studied the video from both of those games and identified basically the big areas where we think we can make improvements.

“I think definitely the hurt and the feeling after those two games will hopefully give us an extra drive going into that game next Saturday.”

Guinness agrees that sometimes the disappointments can fuel you.

“They'll definitely be a big motivation, you've obviously seen with us last year, those defeats on the big day, they are hard to take.

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"I suppose the only thing you can do after is learn from them and use them as fuel going forward into the big matches, both in your preparation on the training pitch to get yourself into the position to hopefully perform better, but also on the day itself then they also help.”

Guinness also has his thoughts on possible restructures to the championship and the club championship format with little time to spare these days.

“I'd be a big fan of the way the Down Championship is run, and I know speaking to a lot of boys from other counties, their sort of feeling is that there's a lot of group games, they might play five or six group games before they actually get to sort of a knockout game.

"I think the Down Championship, the way you can get the second chance in the first two rounds, but every game still has that big championship feeling, I think it's the best way to run it.”