Castleknock are looking forward to the 2014 season in all codes after their meteoric rise in Dublin GAA sees them compete at the highest levels they have ever attained in football and hurling.
The club will field eight adult teams this year between the football, hurling and camogie codes, with their footballers starting their first-ever campaign at senior level after gaining promotion from AFL 3 and the Dublin junior crown in 2013, while the hurlers take on the challenge of AFL 3 having secured their elevation to intermediate level as well as the Leinster special junior hurling crown.
Despite this unprecedented run of success, club chairman at Castleknock Niall Tutty, does not underestimate the task at hand for any of the club’s teams in 2014.
“It’s going to be a tough, exciting year,” said Tutty when he spoke to GazetteSport last week.
“We’re really looking forward to the season ahead, and we’re really looking forward to our first senior football match against Fingallians at Somerton on Sunday at 10.30am. Every team in the division is their club’s first team except for Kilmacud Crokes, who have a team in both divisions.
“Every match is going to be like a championship game. The guys have had a good pre-season with the management, and we are well up for the matches ahead.”
The footballers under Enda Murphy will also benefit from pre-season preparation, a luxury they were not afforded last year with their involvement in the All-Ireland junior championship series.
“They will have more time, but they will need more time to prepare as the standard is going to be higher,” said Tutty.
“The difference between the divisions will be the physicality and the speed of the football, which we experienced playing against the stronger teams in Division 3 last year. Hopefully we will be able to cope with it and do ourselves justice at the higher level.”
As for the hurlers, the club announced last week the appointment of former Dublin hurling boss Humphrey Kelleher as their manager for this season, with Tutty putting important goals forward as the priority for the team this year.
“We will be hoping they follow the progress of the footballers last year and make it into senior status by the end of the year, that will be their goal.
“There is a shortage of senior hurling mentors suitable to take on senior teams in Dublin and we were lucky to connect with Humphrey. We’re delighted he agreed to take on the team for the year.
“The ideal for any club is to have their teams playing at senior level and that is what we will be striving for. We don’t expect to win everything this year, but we will continue being an ambitious club, trying to get to the top.”