Burke looking forward to early season test against his own county

O'Byrne Cup Round 2- Wicklow v Kildare in Aughrim on Saturday at 2.00

Robert Cribbin

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Robert Cribbin

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Burke looking forward to early season test against his own county

New Wicklow Senior Football Manager Davy Burke

Come Saturday afternoon in Aughrim there will be a familiar face in the opposition dugout when Kildare take on Wicklow as Davy Burke oversees his first home game as the Garden County Manager.

The All Ireland Under 20 winning boss with Kildare recently departed his hugely successful post with Sarsfields and now all attentions are on his fortunes with Wicklow.

Predictably enough he comes face to face with Kildare only a few weeks into his tenure and it’s a challenge he’s relishing.

“Kildare will be pushing hard for Super 8’s this year and maybe further and certainly as a Kildare man I’d like to see them push on”.

“We are Division 4 in Wicklow and we are where we are and I’m doing my best to up the ante and get them to work harder. A bit of attitude and work is important and if they do that everything will fall into place after that”.

“Kildare would be a small bit ahead of us on the graph at the moment but we love a challenge too”.

Like the Lillywhites Wicklow kicked off the O’Byrne Cup with a defeat as they fell to Carlow on a 2-5 to 0-8 scoreline last weekend but there was still positives for the new boss as he tries to put plans in place for the National Football League in a couple of weeks time.

“It’s a hugely important competition as in competitive games you find out who you have and you find out if lads are up to it and the Carlow game told us a lot because Division 4 is going to be physical. The three pre-season games will be of huge value to us as a result and to most teams I would think”.

“The O’Byrne Cup is particularly difficult to be ready for and even more so as a new manager and everyone is in the same boat. You are trying to put a plan together, maybe change the culture and that takes a while”.

“The O’Byrne Cup is what it is and results don’t matter as we will be looking to find players but still the 25th of January in the opening round of the League is very important to us and we don’t have huge preparation time”, Burke said.

As he did with all his previous jobs the Confey man has huge plans for Wicklow and getting out of Division 4 is his main starting point over the coming months.

“Division 4 is where we are at now and the ambition is promotion and having met all the players that’s what they want. My thing is to push for Division 3 Football but we need to maintain that and if we are going up we are staying up”.

 “Twenty of the current squad are under 21 so they need to develop. Division 4 is a big thing for us and in the Championship we will be going hell for leather against Wexford in a local derby so that’s the way it is”.

It may be only pre-season but you get the feeling Burke would only love to get a victory over his native Kildare on Saturday aswell.