We are focussing on promotion and I think we can achieve that target this year - Dean Zambra

Mon, Mar 05 2018

Zambra in action for Bray a number of years ago. Credit: Jason O'Callaghan (ETPhotos)

Dean Zambra has plenty of experience in the League of Ireland having made his debut for Bray Wanderers back in 2008. Ten years on and he is targeting league promotion with his current club, Longford Town.

Dean has had an impressive start to the campaign getting on the scoresheet in Longford’s 2-2 draw with Cobh Ramblers in the opening game of the season and recently he spoke exclusively to extratime.ie to give his thoughts on the game and on the season ahead.

“I thought we played well for the most part. We are still trying to gel everything together with it being the first game and that but overall I felt we played well and controlled the game.

“I don’t have any personal target, I am just trying to play well and contribute in every game. I think it’s important that we get goals from a number of sources so I feel as a midfielder I should chip in with a few each year.”

The 29-year-old midfielder agrees with the opinion that this season’s First Division will be one of the most competitive in recent memory, but is also fiercely confident that himself and his teammates have enough in their locker to achieve top spot.

“I think the league will be very competitive. A number of teams if not all the teams will fancy challenging for promotion through winning the league or the playoffs. For us we are focusing on promotion and think we can achieve that target this year.

Promotion is the main focus of the squad but Longford have a great cup tradition so we will give our all in every competition. A good cup run always boosts morale and it certainly gets the supporters excited so we hope to be competitive in the cups too this year.”

Neale Fenn is the man overseeing everything at the City Calling Stadium and one thing that is certain this year is an attractive style of attacking football will be on display for their loyal fans. A difference that Zambra hopes will please the existing fans but may also result in some new faces around the ground.

“It has been great working with Neale. Neale wants to play attacking football and wants the players to play a certain way. I think Neale has brought new and fresh ideas to the league and is challenging the players technically. He wants players to be brave and encourages a passing style game which few managers have successfully implemented in LOI football.

“We're hoping to put together good attractive football that will excite the town and get more and more fans to our games. The more people there are that are generating an atmosphere, the better it is both for us as a team and the league as a whole.”

The fixture schedule was completely disrupted this weekend by the wintery weather and stormy conditions which has been less than ideal for everyone involved in the League. Longford will be in action next in the City Calling stadium on Saturday, 10th March against Wexford, with kick off at 7.30pm.

“It’s not ideal dealing with disruptions like this especially for lads that aren’t full time players as they will have to organise days off work and rearrange the fixtures for midweek times which doesn’t allow for a lot of recovery after a weekend game. In general, I think players get on with it and after the initial inconvenience everyone gets back to work quickly and focuses on the next fixture.”