Athlone Town’s Aaron Brilly believes that the team are showing clear signs of progress after the team secured a 1-1 draw with Longford Town on Friday night. Brilly, who previously lined out for opponents Longford, opened the scoring in the game afte
Athlone Town’s Aaron Brilly believes that the team are showing clear signs of progress after the team secured a 1-1 draw with Longford Town on Friday night.
Brilly, who previously lined out for opponents Longford, opened the scoring in the game after 20 minutes to grab his first goal in the League of Ireland.
“It’s always nice to come back and score against your old club I suppose. To do it in a game like that, and for it to be my first League of Ireland goal as well, it’s a nice moment for me,” he said.
“If I could have picked a team to get it against, I suppose it would have been Longford down here (in Athlone).”
Having suffered some heavy defeats earlier in the season, performances for the midlands side have improved recently.
Brilly believes that this is down to the players allow themselves to rediscover their sense of enjoyment in playing football.
“For a couple of weeks there we kind of went away from enjoying it, we nearly had an inevitability in going and getting beaten.”
“It was just an attitude we had, not instilled by the management or anything, but something we had instilled in ourselves.”
“I think in the last couple of weeks we have taken the onus on ourselves that we don't want to finish bottom, nobody wants to finish bottom, but if we focus too far ahead we may lose the run of ourselves.”
Due to the recruitment of a large number of new players prior to the start of the season, Athlone began their league campaign off the back of a shortened pre-season.
With the players now having spent a significant amount of time together as a group, and Brilly feels this is something that be seen in their recent performances on the pitch.
“As a team we are building. There is a few lads in there who hadn't set foot on to a League of Ireland pitch before the start of this year, and it was always going to take us a couple of games extra compared to teams who had a longer pre-season.”
“We are starting to gel a little bit. Our back four has been absolutely terrific for us in the last couple of games, and we are finally getting that bit of balance in their that we were longing for.”
Manager Terry Butler was given the role on a permanent basis a couple of weeks ago, and his appointment has coincided with their upturn in performances.
“Terry and Mitch have given us a new-found freedom to go and play and express ourselves, and I think it is showing out there.”
“Ive finally got my chance in central midfield that I have been longing for for the last while. Terry has given me that in the last while, and thankfully I think I have one quite well.”
“We are looking forward to kicking on and seeing what the rest of the season holds for us.”