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Down Ladies star player Aisling Cull insists that her side won’t be the slightest bit complacent when they face Longford in Saturday's Intermediate All-Ireland quarter-final.

Aisling Cull
Aisling Cull. Photograph: Brendan Monaghan

The game takes place in Ashbourne, at 3pm, and Down go into the contest in confident mood after winning the Ulster title earlier in the summer and at 26-years-old Carryduff footballer believes in her team-mates but she is trying not to look too far ahead.

“The only people that are going to hold us back are ourselves, you can go as far as you want to go as long as you are willing to put in the hard work,” Cull said.

“I feel like this group are a hard-working bunch, and we all work well together so we will where it takes us.

“I haven’t really thought too much past the quarter final. I suppose I am trying to stay grounded and not look past the next match. Just take each game as it comes and see how far we can get.”

The management team of Caoimhe Sloan and Peter Lynch are in their third season with the Down girls. They took the post after bringing Shane O’Neill’s Ladies to Ulster success and have built a team with a tremendous work ethic and Down are in the knock-out stages of the championship for the first time since the last time they won it seven years ago. And Cull can’t speak highly enough of the duo.

“Since Peter and Caoimhe came in there has been great professionalism, everyone on the team has huge respect for them and the work that they put in behind the scenes,” said Cull.

“We only see what they do in training sessions and on game days, but I know they put massive groundwork in behind the scenes during the week looking at other teams and tactics and we have a great backroom team Paul and Keith, they are a great group and a pleasure to work with them. They make it very easy.

“I would say since Caoimhe and Peter came in there hasn’t been anyone who has left the panel as such, we have just added to it.

“Girls want to be involved in Down football, which is great to see and maybe after winning the All-Ireland in 2014 a lot of girls that were pushing towards end of their inter-county career after eight or ten years, called it a day. So, we have been building ever since winning the All-Ireland and we have a great group, and we are ready to see where we can go.”

Down spent the early part of the season trying different systems and players, which meant results suffered but they are comfortable with how they play now and Cull is expecting a tough test on Saturday.

“We had a great year last year, we were unbeaten, which was good and on top of the league last year and confident going into this year’s campaign,” said Cull.

“Unfortunately, the league didn’t go our way and maybe we were a wee bit complacent going into games, so we are not taking the quarter-final for granted. We are definitely going to work hard in training leading up to game against Wexford.

“We have a great group and tight knit and great to be involved with.”

It is massive day for the Mourne County as the U20 footballers (men’s) are in the All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday. They take on Roscommon in Kingspan Breffni Park at 7pm and Down reach the performance levels they are capable off then they have a great chance of reaching the All-Ireland final.

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