Round Tower boss Caimin Keane is hoping to clip high-flying Fingal Ravens’ wings on Friday evening (7.15pm) when they meet in the opening round of the Dublin senior football championship in Chanel.
His side were undone 2-9 to 1-8 in the league in March by a Ravens side that have gone on to win five successive league games, occupying the top of the AFL2 table.
Since that loss, Tower’s have gone on to beat Erin’s Isle and O’Toole’s in the league and Keane puts much of that impetus down to the game against the Rolestown outfit.
“It’s a really big challenge for us. Ravens are really flying,” he told GazetteSport. “With a new manager this year, they really seem like an organised outfit, well-motivated and they did get the better of us that night.
“It gave us a rude awakening, made us shape up. We have bounced back since that night which is good but, from our point of view, seeing how well Ravens were moving got us motivated to get our act together. We see ourselves as underdogs but, at the same time, we’re confident in how we’re going.
“We want to win our first round match; that’s as far as targets go and then see how the draw goes. It’s important to get in the right side of the draw for next year.
“We haven’t had a great record over the last couple of years in the championship and we aren’t happy with it. Although getting up to Division 1 in the league is a priority, we want to win a round one match this year. It is a big occasion for us, no doubt about it.”
While Keane says his side has a few additional injury concerns in their camp, squad management has been such that he is more concerned with the training tempo, something that has been top notch in recent weeks.
“It’s such a long season; it’s about just putting a good series of back-to-back training sessions in, some really competitive friendlies and getting good performances from that.
“Getting the squad more competitive and treating the season in bitesize chunks; with our last two matches, everything went well training-wise.
“We had been missing five of our hurlers for the last while [with championship commitments] so that’s a challenge in itself but it’s going better now with the collective attitude of the group than it was at the start.”
Looking at what Ravens bring to the table, Keane added that he is not afraid of any specific player but was impressed by the power of the collective.
“For me, they didn’t have any individual stand-out players that stood out head and shoulders above the rest. What impressed me was how they worked as a unit.”