“ONE GAME AT A TIME” is the mantra for Ballyboden St Enda’s as they head into the Dublin Senior Football Championship, with the club feeling well-placed to make an impact this time around.
The Firhouse Road club have drawn division two side Clontarf for their opening game in O’Toole Park, with league leaders Lucan Sarsfields and Skerries Harps making up a group that, from the outside, looks eminently winnable for Boden.
Boss Anthony Rainbow admits there are internal targets but also believes that are no “easy” groups.
“In terms of the group, we’ll be showing plenty of respect to our opponents,” he told the Dublin Gazette. “We don’t often play Clontarf because they’re a division two side, but we’ll be taking it one game a time.
“I think Clontarf look a lot more organised than last year, and obviously they have Jack McCaffrey,” he continued.
“He’ll be leading the line and hoping his players row in behind him. We’ll concentrate on our own game, there won’t be any special plans for McCaffrey. We’ve been the same in the league and it’s worked well so far this year. We don’t make plans for individual players.”
Rainbow’s side have started with two wins and a draw in the top tier of the Dublin football league, and he feels that the recent win over Na Fianna in particular offered great preparation for the Championship getting underway.
“It comes thick and fast in April,” former Kildare county man Rainbow explained, adding that he’s in favour of the new league set up.
The re-jig sees the two winning sides and the two losing sides in the four team groups play each other in the second match, keeping the group competitive until after the summer.
“It might make players stick around for the league, rather than thinking their season is over,” he says.
“The league plays into the championship. The Na Fianna game had a championship intensity and pace. We’ve been fortunate in the league so far that we’ve had most of our players available for the games, but when you have players like Colm Basquel and Michael Darragh MacAuley coming back, the quality is so strong that they’re always going to fit into the team.
“We’re pretty much at full strength, aside from a couple of niggles. There are a couple of players from our Under-20 side who will be really pushing for a start and three or four more in contention. Our average age is quite young, most of the players, one or two aside, are in their mid-20s, and they’re all home grown. There are great expectations in Ballyboden.”
Few would bet against the south Dublin side being in the mix again this year. Their opener against Clontarf at O’Toole’s Park gets underway at 3.30pm on Saturday, April 13.