SWORDS Celtic boss Larry Clare admitted there were not too many tougher names that his side could have drawn from the hat following his club’s return to the FAI Intermediate Cup.
His side must travel to the far end of the M50 to meet perennial LSL Sunday Senior challengers Wayside Celtic in Jackson Park, a side residing three divisions above them in the league chain.
In the past month, they reached the semi-final of the Leinster Senior League Cup, ousting League of Ireland side Bray Wanderers before bowing out to Shamrock Rovers.
But Clare says that it is a big boost to test his squad against higher ranked opposition and see what their target is for the coming years having recently moved up from the junior football ranks.
“It’s going to be a difficult tie against Wayside,” he told GazetteSport. “They are one of the top sides in the Leinster Senior League and regularly lock horns with League of Ireland sides and do themselves justice.
“It’s a tough old draw but that is what you want to be pitting yourself against. It is one of the attractions of being back in intermediate football but I would have maybe preferred getting them a round or two later but, hey look, you have to go with whatever way the dice rolls.”
His side have shown few nerves about their new surroundings, defeating a fancied Parkvilla 3-0 and Ratoath 4-1 before falling to Templeogue last weekend.
“It was great to get a couple of good wins under our belt and it settled us down. We lost 1-0 to Templeogue last weekend in a very tight game that we could possibly have got a draw out of. Things like that happen over a season and you might get three points on another day when you don’t deserve them. We played well but got nothing from it but it’s all positive.
“My goal from the start of the season was promotion. There’s three up and three down so I think it’s an achievable goal.”
He is facing a few challenges to juggle his panel with star striker Robbie Farrell out for a month among other issues to be managed.
“We have some fellas leaving, some getting married, some playing Gaelic and some on holidays so we always have to try and add to the squad and get stronger while at the same time trying to keep the bond.
“You think you have a strong squad and then one or two guys will get injured. All of a sudden it’s not quite there; it’s swings and roundabouts that go with a season. Sometimes you have guys who come in and surprise you with what they can do so I’m still very upbeat about the season.”