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Former Tipperary goalkeeper Darren Gleeson aiding Antrim hurlers
Neil McManus: "Darren Gleeson has brought a professional approach to our set-up."
Last Updated: 28/05/19 3:07pm
Darren Gleeson, All-Ireland winning goalkeeper with Tipperary, has joined the Antrim hurling back-room team as the Saffrons aim to triumph in the Joe McDonagh Cup.
Gleeson, who was between the sticks for the Premier's 2016 success, is the latest high-profile name to throw his lot in with the Antrim hurlers.
"Darren Gleeson has probably brought a professional approach to our set-up," Saffrons star Neil McManus said at the Sky Sports Super Games Centre.
"We're better prepared than we were previously, and he's brought his insights from being a former All-Ireland winner with Tipperary into our changing room, and that can only be an advantage to us."
The Saffrons are currently plying their trade in the Joe McDonagh Cup, and since the competition's inception in 2018, it has been a roaring success in terms of pitting well-matched teams up against each other.
"The Joe McDonagh Cup is an exceptional environment for Antrim to develop and progress," said McManus. "We're a very young squad with only a few players at my age. But they're playing against teams of the same ilk. They're learning every day. They're going to be tight games.
"We believe that if we show the ability to get through those games, win this competition, then it means we're ready for the top table."
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Thus far in the competition, Antrim have one win and one loss. However, they will be right in contention for a final berth should they beat Offaly on Saturday.
The Faithful County, who parted ways with manager Kevin Martin, are in relegation trouble and will feel it is a must-win game. Nonetheless, McManus feels the Ulster county are in a good place.
"Antrim can definitely win the Joe McDonagh Cup in 2019," said the Cushendall man. "We have an exceptionally committed panel, but we're very aware of that any of the five teams competing can also win it.
"A return to the Leinster Championship and promotion out of the Joe McDonagh Cup would mean the world to this group of players. That's the aim for this year, and I believe it's a very achievable one."
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues on Saturday, June 8 as Cork host Waterford in the Munster Hurling Championship.