Hyland wary of Tarf threat in Division 2

by Staff Reporter

ROUND Tower kick off their AFL Division 2 campaign this weekend when they face Naomh Mearnog on Sunday morning in Portmarnock as they look to finally move on up.
The Clondalkin club will be vying to gain promotion to Division 1 following last season’s playoff loss to Skerries still a lingering memory.
Manager Mick Hyland has said that this weekend’s game will be a tough affair and that a passage into the unknown will be on the cards against a strong Naomh Mearnog side.
“We beat them last year and we beat them again fairly convincingly in the cup but you can’t really judge it on that basis because, at the moment, it’s a transitional period for a lot of teams”, he said speaking to GazetteSport.
“We don’t know what to expect. We’re in a good place at the moment ourselves; we beat Skerries away last Sunday in the cup so confidence is high for us.”
He will have the vast bulk of his squad available to him come Sunday aside from Eoin Moran who is a doubt, suffering from a recent ankle injury.
Hyland mentions the large volumes of training undergone by his team ahead of the start of their league season – gym sessions combined with regular training on top of weekly matches throughout the New Year.
“We did a lot of training in January with five nights a week for the last three weeks of the month; spending two nights a week on the field, two in the gym and a game on Sundays.
“But the players enjoyed it; they’re skipping along the ground at the minute. It was very obvious that the training stood to them against Skerries because all the players looked very sharp.”
He welcomes back the bulk of his squad from last season, with two additions in the form of Donegal man Conor Rooney and Trevor Clenndenning from Longford.
Division 2 will be as tough as every other year for his side but, in particular, he warns of the threat posed by Clontarf who will also be looking to gain promotion after a hugely impressive 2015.
“Clontarf would be a bogey team for us – they did well in the championship last year and I would presume that they would be trying to get out of Division 2 and into Division 1 like us.
“We ourselves had a very good year last year and were just pipped at the end by Skerries.
“Promotion is our number one priority and anything else in the championship is a bonus.
“We hope to give a good showing of ourselves in the senior championship proper this year depending on the draws and give it a good lash but our priority will be to get promotion.”

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