KILMACUD CROKES senior football manager Robbie Brennan says his side expect a keenly contested encounter, when they face Ballyboden St Enda’s in the opening round of the Division 1 senior football league on Sunday (10.30am).
It’s going to be a tough ask against the reigning Dublin and Leinster champions, who lost just one game last year – their final game of 2019, a league final loss to Ballymun Kickhams.
“Obviously they are a fantastic side and we would have the utmost respect for them and what they have done down through the years,” Brennan told the Dublin Gazette.
“There’s always a good rivalry between the two clubs, and a healthy rivalry at that.
“They had a fantastic year last year. It could have maybe been a little bit better for them as things turned out.
“You couldn’t get a better test for your first game up in the league. We are trying to put a bit more importance on the league this year than we did last year.
“With that in mind, we would be looking at a good performance on Sunday.”
While Kilmacud Crokes are low in numbers at present, all things considered, their manager says they are motoring well.
“We are back probably two or three weeks at this stage – it’s probably a little bit earlier than last year.
“It’s good, we have a core group of about 14 or 15 lads at training at the minute. We’ve a lot away with county football – we’ve nine or ten in with Dublin and one with Offaly, and then three with the Dublin Under-20s.
“Then we have a couple of long-term injuries, so we are hit bad numbers wise but for the core group we have, I have to say we are going well at the minute.
“We are definitely looking forward to getting up and running at the weekend.”
With the likes of Tom Fox picking up a Sigerson medal and other Crokes players in colleges action, it has kept a large part of the squad ticking over nicely during the Winter months.
“It doesn’t seem like that long ago since we lost to Thomas Davis in the semi-final of the Championship,” Brennan said.
“There’s been a few lads like Callum Pearson, Niall O’Leary and Tom Fox and others involved in colleges action, so they have been ticking along.
“To be fair the lads have kept themselves in good shape over Christmas, so it hasn’t been too difficult to get them back in, and up and at it already.
“It’s probably unprecedented for us to have so many away with the county at the minute, so that in turn is probably stretching the second and third teams etc. on down.
“It has been tricky, but full credit to the club for keeping things ticking over well all the same.”