Armstrong inspired by Heary's belief in youth players
Man of the Match on Tuesday night Gary Armstrong said Owen Heary’s faith in young players is very encouraging for all the youngsters among Rovers’ ranks.
Armstrong bagged a brace in the 8-0 win against the Mayo League, and is pleased that youth players are being given a chance in the senior squad.
“It’s very encouraging to see Owen Heary give young players a chance, like Oisin Connolly and Liam Flatley were born in 1998 so it’s great to see that happening. I’ve enjoyed it a lot, he’s a good man. With other managers maybe young players wouldn’t be given so many opportunities but Owen’s shown a lot of faith in us all and it’s really encouraging. It helps us a lot” he said.
Coming through the youth team to the senior squad has been made much easier for Armstrong as he’s had a number of team-mates graduate alongside him. Pre-season was a good learning curve for the 19-year-old, and he feels he’s settled in better thanks to a few familiar faces.
“It’s much easier when you have players around you who you’ve played with before. I’ve played with Flatley, Ryan McManus, Gary Boylan and those lads all my life. It was the first pre-season for me, it was a new experience and it was tough but it was a good experience and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot.”
Armstrong was delighted with the comprehensive victory over the Mayo side: “We’re all very pleased with the result. We weren’t ourselves in the first-half and luckily we woke up in the second half and really picked things up then, we played much better and obviously finished the game with eight goals so we’re really happy with the result.”
“I was much happier with my second half performance. I was a bit disappointed with how I played in the first-half but thankfully I think I did better in the second-half, got myself a couple of goals so I’m pleased with that.”
Rovers travel to Drogheda on Friday for their second league game of the campaign, and Armstrong says it’s important that they get their first win of the season: “It’s a big game for us. Drogheda away on Friday is going to be a tough game for us. They had a good win on the first day of the season against Bray Wanderers. We’ll be going there looking to get our first win of the season and hopefully that happens for us.”