Lucan Sarsfields’ senior hurlers are hoping to capitalise and build upon their fine 2013 season this year as they prepare to take to the field against O’Toole’s in their first Dublin senior hurling league encounter at Blunden Drive this Sunday.
With the boost of having reached last year’s final of the senior hurling championship only to bow out against Ballyboden St Enda’s with a battling performance, Lucan are capitalising on the club’s commitment to the development of the small-ball game.
Lucan Sarsfields’ senior hurling coach Fintan Clandillon spoke to Gazette Sport last week ahead of the match against O’Toole’s and explained that though the side are well prepared in terms of strength and conditioning, they have not been able to spend quality time on the pitch due to the recent inclement weather, a matter compounded by the recent appointment of new manager Vincent Shanagher.
“We started back with the majority of last year’s squad being available and we are looking forward to playing games. It has been difficult even from a training point of view, we really haven’t done any hurling on grass, and like most other teams, it’s been a case of strength and conditioning work in the gym and on the pitch as well.”
The start of the season is also seen by Clandillon as a way to blood new players who have been given a starting opportunity due to the absence of Lucan’s Dublin contingent.
“We have four lads involved with the Dublin seniors, Johnny McCaffrey and Peter Kelly, who are the ones starting week in and out, and Seanie McLelland and Chris Crummie are also involved as well. I think other teams might look at it as a negative not to have those guys involved, but it’s an opportunity for younger guys to step up.”
The side lined out in their first Leinster League match against Birr last weekend, which provided the new management structure with a measure of where the side are at present.
“It’s a great opportunity to see what things needed work ahead of the start of the season. We were two points up at half time, playing with the wind, but in the second half our lack of match fitness caught up with us about halfway through the second half. But we were delighted with the workout, they like us had not done a lot of work on grass. It took a lot out of the lads legwise, but that’s what we wanted ahead of this weekend.”