Fins’ huge Fingal derby

by James Hendicott
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FINGALLIANS are all set for a tasty local tie with Skerries Harps as they return to the Dublin Senior Football Championship this Friday, following a confident Dublin intermediate title and run to the Leinster final in 2016.
Football boss at the Swords club Wayne Knight – who masterminded last year’s progression – admits there’s a buzz about the rare senior derby (the two sides haven’t clashed at this level in over a decade), but told GazetteSport that his side’s key goal remains a return to the senior leagues this time around.
“It’s a good draw,” Knight admitted, “especially with the local element. “No doubt Skerries are looking at it and thinking they could have had a tougher match-up, too. I’m not expecting too much difference between the two teams.
“Our main focus is a return to senior level in the league, though,” Knight continued. “It’s important to be playing at that level regularly. We’ve played a lot of league one and league two teams in challenge matches over the past year or so, so they’d have some idea what to expect from us.
“I don’t think they’d enjoy the prospect of playing us. But the main thing this year is definitely getting senior football regularly. Anything after that is a bonus.”
With Paul Flynn back from Dublin and training with Fingallians over the past week, the Swords club will also have their star man in action for the Harps game, but Knight is keen to emphasise the growth of the promisingly young current panel outside of the Dublin forward.
“Obviously last year’s given us confidence. We’re a really young panel; the average age is about 22 or 23. So it looks really great for the next four of five years.
“It’s difficult to be too dependent on Paul [Flynn]; we have to be able to perform without him and the intermediate success last time around really showed that we can. We were winning quite well in Dublin. If we can get past Skerries on Friday, that will give us a platform and who knows what could happen.
“You have to take something from Castleknock’s progress after their intermediate win over the last couple of years,” Knight concluded.
“We feel like we need to get up to seniors in the league and then we can try to replicate that. We have the young team to do it.”
Fingallians are well on track for a return to the second league tier and remain unbeaten so far this season. The championship derby with Skerries in Garristown gets underway at 7pm on Friday, April 21.

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