Ballymun Kickhams will have sporadic access to James McCarthy in AFL1

AFL1 season preview

BALLYMUN Kickhams are uncertain how well placed they are going into AFL1 this year, as the north Dublin side eye an improvement on last season’s opener against the same opposition, Ballyboden St Enda’s.

Kickhams’ successful production line means they can be disadvantaged somewhat in the league by an impressive seven players in the current Dublin panel, including key men Dean Rock, Philly McMahon, James McCarthy, John Small and current starting goalkeeper Evan Comerford.

“We’ll have a couple of players back from Dublin for the Boden game,” PRO Cathal Roche told the Dublin Gazette.

“But we’re not sure who yet. There are a couple of injuries from last year.
“The league can be tough for us as we’re a small club and we have a lot of players involved with Dublin.

“It’s very difficult to be competitive but we’re very proud of having all the lads off with the county.”

Kickhams opened their campaign against Ballyboden away last year and were administered what Roche jokingly calls “a trimming”.

Mun are confident they can improve this time around.

Their panel has a couple of additional players who have broken through from age group teams and the club is also seeing a great jump in general participation, something Roche puts down to some high quality management.

“Our GPO Gerry Seaver has done some incredible work in bringing players in, particularly in the junior ranks,” Roche explains.

“He’s a terrific GPO and I think the growth in the club has more to do with him than it does with having players on the Dublin panel.

“We’re a lot like Kilmacud in the 90s, or Plunketts with the Brogans,” Roche continues.

“They had great players but couldn’t really win anything at club level as they were missing with the county.

“It can be a strange situation because the Dublin players don’t train with us, so when they come back in, it’s not always that easy. There’s not a great difference between the quality of Dublin senior club training and what happens at the Dublin panel but they do different drills and they’re not used to playing together.

“It’s definitely a disadvantage in the league, especially as we’re not anything close to the size of the likes of Vincent’s, Ballyboden or Na Fianna as a club.

“It’s not all about the championship, though. We’re going to try and win every game we’re part of.”

Kickhams have had a good run in recent years, winning the 2012 Dublin senior football championship and losing out to St Vincent’s twice in the 2013 and 2017 finals, both by a single score. They last won a league title in 2009.