BALLYBODEN St Enda’s new senior football boss Andy McEntee admits that he would have liked more pitch time with his team ahead of the big kick off in AFL1 this weekend.
The 2013 semi-finalists face reigning champions St Brigid’s at 10.30am in Pairc Ui Murchu, with McEntee at the helm for his first competitive game in charge.
The former Meath minors’ boss took over the job in early January, taking on a side with plenty of promise in the form of Ryan Basquel and Robbie McDaid.
But, with the Vincent de Paul Cup not being employed as the season opening competition this term and the spate of weather issues in recent weeks, McEntee says he has not quite had the volume of action under his belt ahead of such a tough game,
“I’m starting to settle in at this stage,” he told GazetteSport. “It has taken a while to get into it and it can be hard when you are not playing matches, especially with the weather the way it has been, it has been hard to get onto the pitch.
“I’m still trying to get to know the players and until you play matches, it is hard to know who can do what.”
Throw in colleges, Dublin Under-21 and senior commitments, and it shows how McEntee has not been able to assess the whole squad, but he is optimistic about what Boden can achieve in 2014 once the squad assembles fully.
“There are some good young fellas coming through but, again, it is difficult. There are guys involved with colleges, Dublin Under-21 and senior. So, it’s proving to be that there is still a lot of unknowns. I haven’t seen the lads play as much as I would have liked.
“I would have liked to have two or three of the Vincent de Paul Cup games to see and have a better idea.
“But any one of half a dozen or maybe more of the really strong teams in Dublin would be fixing their gaze at the championship. We would be no different. Boden got to the semi-final of the championship and league last year. I wouldn’t be giving away any trade secrets if I didn’t think we wanted to go better than that this year.”
He retains the backroom team that worked with Conor Deegan – who is now managing Kilmacud Crokes – something that he feels will be of great use in the early phases of the season.