Swords Celtic have faced a tough start to life in the top tier of Leinster Senior League football before finally getting off the mark with a draw against Malahide United.
It was their first ever point in the top tier of intermediate football since promotion and the mood remains positive as manager Brendan Kennedy sees lots of potential in the performances so far.
“We could have scored enough goals to win two or three games,” Kennedy said of a recent loss away to a notoriously tough host, Ballymun United.
“We were down to ten men for a lot of the second half and they didn’t score until the 88th minute. Then they got another three minutes into injury time while we were pushing for the equaliser. I don’t want to moan about it, as that’s football, but we didn’t get the bounce of the ball.”
Despite the opening three defeats and a draw against Malahide United this weekend, Celtic have a goal difference of only -4, having run everyone they’ve faced close. While unhappy with the early results, Kennedy is happy with his young team’s performances.
“We’re under no illusions,” he told the Dublin Gazette. “This is a tough league, and we don’t have the draw of some of the other clubs here.
“We don’t have the name and we don’t have the list of trophies. We need to get players to buy into a project. We’re quite unique in the league, in that almost all our players our local.
“We started the season with a squad of 23, which is unusual for us, as most of last year we were picking from 18.
“Most of them are young. We had six 18-year-olds on the pitch or on the bench for the opening games, and we’d probably be the youngest team in the league.”
Key striker Jack McGlade decided to take time away from the game in the summer, and a replacement is yet to be sourced.
“I’ve had other offers and I’ve turned them down because I believe in the project,” Kennedy continued.
“I think it’s important we stay up this year, but we’d settle for finishing fourth bottom (the first position above relegation) and having a bit of a cup run.
“Some managers will tell you they’re going to challenge. I think it’s better to be realistic.
“We’d be really happy to finish in the next place below the top six or so sides in this league. Maybe in a couple of years we can be right up there.
“These young players have a lot of potential.
“It’s not been easy, but I’m quietly confident, I just wanted to get our first point and we’ll go from there,” Kennedy concludes.