More history is beckoning for Lucan’s Baker

by Jonny Stapleton
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It’s a case of history made, more history to make for Lucan United manager Keith Baker.

The young manager guided the Dublin side to their first ever Senior Sunday title earlier this month, but isn’t one for prolonged celebrations.

The former Firhouse Clover boss notes it’s a special win and understands the magnitude of the title victory for the club.

However, it’s not a success he seems to be dwelling on, as he admits he is already making plans for next season.

Baker and his coaching set up, who also oversaw Charlie Cahill Cup success, hope to improve the squad before they take a brief break. With that in mind they have already targeted areas they feel need improvement and players they feel can improve their title winning squad.

Those improvements are obviously with defending their title in mind but a first ever Intermediate Cup win is also on the agenda.  

“If someone would have offered us the League at the start of the season you’d have snapped their hand off, so to do a double is testimony to the lads,” Baker said.

“It’s been a long season, a tough season but it’s been brilliant. It’s been some achievement for the club, second year ever in the top flight and to win it is amazing,” he continues before diverting his gaze from last season to next.

“We’ve had a couple of conversations, myself and the coaching staff and we’ve discussed a number of areas we feel we need to strengthen. We haven’t made any calls, we have to show other teams respect and wait until the season is officially finished. But there are a couple of areas we’d like to strengthen. We’ve spoken about certain players we’ve seen already, so hopefully we’ll do that in the next week or so.”

Lucan, whose Saturday side is on course for a treble, won a league and cup double, winning Senior Sunday and the Charlie Cahill Cup. That cup win and the manner in which it was a achieved was a real bonus for Baker, but the cup defeats that stand out are really telling.

Losing to teams down the Intermediate food chain in both FAI Senior and FAI Intermediate Cups hurt the manager. The FAI Senior is a real bonus territory competition that provides passage to potential League of Ireland glamour ties but the Intermediate is a competition Baker has made no secret of his desire to win and one he has set his sights on for next season. 

“The low points were St Pats CY knocking us out of the FAI Senior Cup, they were the better side on the day no gripes about it and Collinstown in the Intermediate. That’s a big competition for me. I still haven’t won it. I’ve got to a quarter final, a semi final , a final and that’s one I want to tick off my list.”

Baker is one of the youngest managers to lift the Senior Sunday trophy and as such is aware he needs a few experienced heads around him. He points out the title success couldn’t have been achieved without a strong backroom team. 

“The coaching team is massive. I’m still a young manager and as a young manager you can still make mistakes.

“You have to have people there in the background that will tell you when you’ve done well and also when you’ve done wrong. Your management team is like a family, you’d probably speak to the lads as much as you would your partner,” he says before looking at the success through a personal lense.

“I used to look at Martin Loughran, Andy Noonan and the like when they were winning it and I used to always say ‘I’d love to get a crack at winning that.’ I never thought I would If I’m being honest , so it’s brilliant.”

Lucan United celebrated their best ever season winning the Senior Sunday League and Cup double, under the guidance of manager Keith Baker.

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