19 July 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Ulster Senior Football Championship Final

Monaghan captain Owen Lennon has put injury woes in recent years behind him to lead his county to a third Ulster final since 2007.

Lennon, who has had to wait a number of years to be given the captaincy, told the media at Monaghan’s press night last week: “I’m just happy to still be playing away. I’ve been injury-free for this last few years and Malachy asked me to be captain this year, so I gladly took it on. I cracked a disc in my back and I had a lot of injuries down through the years but thankfully I’ve been injury-free this last three or four years and it has extended my career by a few years. I went over to Lilleshall in England and they put me on a programme for flexibility and posture etc., which made a dramatic difference. Like a lot of tall men, I’d have bad posture, so I need to do all this to keep my career going.

Lennon believes he is playing some of the best football of his life right now and he says it is a great relief to be able to produce his top form. “I feel I’m playing as well as I was back then when I was 24 or 25. I suppose when we were starting off, everyone was just told to do weights with no real knowledge about it, but now there’s a lot more knowledge in the area of strength and conditioning. Even going to watch matches, I had problems just standing up straight for too long. People wouldn’t realize that, you might play poorly in a match then and people are saying ‘What’s wrong with him?’ or ‘He’s finished’ or whatever, but there were a lot of underlying problems there, although thankfully they’re gone now. Of course, because everyone knows how well they can play and it’s very frustrating if you’re not reaching that level.”

The Latton man is happy with the impact made by Malachy O’Rourke, first with his club team and now with the county, saying: “He came in with us in Latton in 2011 and we won the club championship that year. We knew then he had great quality and a great way with players. Malachy is very good and he is a good tactical manager. Leo (McBride) came along with him. Ryan Porter is a great …

Comments are closed.