Homebird Kilkenny zones in on Dub goals

CIARAN Kilkenny insisted that “every game’s a learning process,” and that Dublin “are 100% focused on Kildare, and haven’t thought beyond that,” as GazetteSport caught up with the All-Ireland champion’s lynchpin ahead of the Leinster senior football final.

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CIARAN Kilkenny insisted that “every game’s a learning process,” and that Dublin “are 100% focused on Kildare, and haven’t thought beyond that,” as GazetteSport caught up with the All-Ireland champion’s lynchpin ahead of the Leinster senior football final.
Kilkenny also talked about the key role his club Castleknock have in his life.
“One of my few pastimes when I’m not training is going down to the club, hanging around and having a bit of banter; I’m down there every chance I get,” Kilkenny said of the fast-rising west Dublin side who he insists are underdogs in their county quarter-final against Kilmacud Crokes later this year, while jokingly eyeing a semi-final contest with local rivals St Brigid’s.
The love for his home and life in Ireland is part of dragged Kilkenny back from his brief time in Aussie rules four years ago, with the midfield man insisting he has “no regrets” about the move. “I love our country, our traditions and our culture, and I’m always looking to play for my club and county. I have lovely memories from that time, but I’m very happy here now.”
Kilkenny scored his first goal for Dublin – and second in Croke Park (he netted in an International Rules contest a few years back) – in the recent Westmeath semi-final, explaining afterwards: “It was a different experience scoring a goal, and I got a real slagging from the lads afterwards as it’s taken me so long to get one.”
“I do feel like one of the senior players now, as there’s been a few changes around the squad,” Kilkenny continued, highlighting Con O’Callaghan as a player who is bringing a lot of energy to a squad that likes to keep to itself.
“I’m not sure we buy into the siege mentality thing,” Kilkenny tells us of the suggestion that Jim Gavin is trying to create a scenario where the Dubs view themselves as facing off against everyone else.
“We don’t really look at the media, as whether they’re saying your good or bad, it’s easy to take it on board too much.
“By the time we’ve warmed down from the game and started our recovery, you don’t really want to be going home and taking in every little thing anyone has to say about it. Every game’s a learning process, no matter what the scoreline is.
“Nothing is predictable in this game, all you can do is prepare yourself the best you can every time and hope it’s enough to ensure you come out on top.”