27 Sept 2022

Building belief the key for Jack O'Connor as Kildare kick start National Football League Campaign

Kildare v Fermanagh in St.Conleths Park on Sunday at 2.30

Building belief the key for Jack O'Connor as Kildare kick start National Football League Campaign

It’s the beginning of a new era as the Kildare Senior Footballers enter League action under the tutelage of Jack O'Connor.

When they take to the field on Sunday for the Division Two opener it will bring an end to months of preparation that has seen a squad of 37 picked by O'Connor and his selectors.

One of the main things that the former All-Ireland winning manager has been trying to install into his side is an increased belief in their ability.

“The lads are very dedicated and very interested and their attention to preparation is second to none but the big area where we need to improve on is just a bit of belief and actually really believing that they can compete because if you’ve s couple of years with no success a bit of doubt and negativity creeps in so I think that’s the big thing and that’s why it’s important to get a couple of results early on in the League and build a bit of momentum”.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day and we aren’t talking about anything other than trying to win a few early League games and build the belief. That’s the way it grows but there is plenty of talent and good footballers in Kildare and it’s just about getting belief and momentum”.

“We will be patient with the players and it’s very important that the supporters our too as whether they realise it or not their support has a big impact on the morale of the players. I can guarantee that the players are putting in a monumental effort and training really hard and we have to hold them back sometimes so it won’t be for lack of effort that they will be held back. As a result it’s well worth having patience with them.”

Aaron Masterson and Fergal Conway will definitely miss the early part of the League with injury and Kevin Feely is rated as very doubtful for Sunday but that gives the chance for new players to put their hand up for selection.

It’s also been revealed that David Hyland will captain the team with Mick O'Grady as vice captain.

Fermanagh got the better of Kildare in Enniskilllen last year so they know what they are up against and patience will be the big thing against a defensive team like the Erne County.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout and good support and the big thing is the patrons will have to be patient as sometimes in defensive games it’s not possible to play free flowing football so we have to be patient and work the ball and make good decisions on the ball so I’d just urge the supporters to stick with the team  because some teams are very hard to break down”.

 “Most teams find it hard to break down a defensive team like Fermanagh. They have been playing like that for a long time and we just have to throw something different at them and maybe get them out of their comfort zone a little bit  so it will be interesting and it’s a great challenge to try and break down systems like that so we’ve been paying attention to that in our preparation”.

“Momentum is important in the League and we have two tough away games in Clare and Armagh after that so of course it’s important to try and win your first game and get a bit of belief and momentum”, O’Connor admitted.


Kildare Senior Football Panel:

Mark Donnellan, Maynooth
James Robinson, Round Towers
Mick O’Grady, Celbridge
Eoin Doyle, Naas
Peter Kelly, Two Mile House
Liam Healy, Moorefield
Eoghan Bateman, Naas
Mark Barrett, Ballymore Eustace
Darragh Malone, Allenwood
David Hyland, Athy
Kevin Flynn, Celbridge
Con Kavanagh, Sarsfields
Johnny Byrne, Allenwood
Keith Cribbin, Johnstownbridge
Shea Ryan, Sarsfields
Tony Archbold, Celbridge
Kevin Feely, Athy
Aaron Masterson, Moorefield
Tommy Moolick, Leixlip
Liam Power, Raheens
Paschal Connell, Athy
Aaron O’Neill, Carbury
Paul Cribbin, Johnstownbridge
Fergal Conway, Celbridge
Paddy Brophy, Celbridge
Chris Byrne, Clane
Conor Hartley, Sarsfields
John Treacy, Straffan
Daragh Ryan, Sarsfields
David Slattery, Confey
Daniel Flynn, Johnstownbridge
Jack Robinson, Clogherinkoe
Niall Kelly, Athy
Adam Tyrrell, Moorefield
Jimmy Hyland, Ballyteague
Neil Flynn, Maynooth
Padraig Fogarty, St. Laurences

Allianz League Fixtures:
Round 1

Kildare v Fermanagh

Sunday 26th January, 2.30pm

Venue: St. Conleth’s Park

*Double-header with Kildare Hurlers

Round 2 

Kildare v Clare

Sunday 2nd February, 2pm

Venue: Cusack Park

Round 3

Kildare v Armagh

Saturday 8th February, 7pm

Venue: Athletic Grounds

Round 4 

Kildare v Roscommon

Sunday 23rd February, 2.30pm

Venue: St. Conleth’s Park

*Double-header with Kildare Hurlers

Round 5

Kildare v Laois

Saturday 29th February, 7pm

Venue: MW Hire O’Moore Park

Round 6

Kildare v Cavan

Sunday 15th March, 2pm

Venue: St. Conleth’s Park

Round 7 

Kildare v Westmeath

Sunday 22nd March, 2pm

Venue: St. Conleth’s Park


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