KILDARE turned in a bright performancein Wedneday’s second round O’Byrne Cup victory, particularly in the opening 25 minutes, and manager Kieran McGeeney was more than happy.
“We probably had chances in both halves to kill the game off and we probably didn’t. We just need to commit a bit more to the threat that we have up front. Defensively we were sound. It gives the fellas more games. Cathal McNally scored two points, Daniel Flynn looked very handy, Tom was staying on his feet this week, it’s another game played so it’s good that way,” he said.
As well as Flynn getting his first run out, there was also a first appearance for Mick Konstantin as McGeeney continues to attempt to integrate a number of promising under-21 players into his squad.
“I told the under-21s that if you are playing well I don’t care what age you are, if you are showing up you will get a chance. In fairness to Mick, they tried to isolate him in there and put him on his own but he dealt with it very well,” he said.
The win ensured that Kildare will play in a semi-final and McGeeney stressed the importance of playing as many competitive games ahead of the league opener against Donegal on 2 February.
“It would be great to get another competitive game in the semi-final before the start of the league. Contrary to what they are saying, I’m sure Donegal are training quite hard, if not very hard. Knowing Jim he will have them going well and knowing Jim I’m sure he had them out training in Dubai. We have a lot of catching up to go before we are at the All-Ireland winners level but we’re just trying to get as many games as we can and then see if we can compete when we get to Croke Park.”
There are some injury problems for McGeeney to scontend with. Eamon Callaghan was on the pitch doing some work before the game but didn’t join in the full warm-up while Ollie Lyons was forced off in the first half. Daryl Flynn didn’t tog out as he continues to overcome a groin injury.
“Daryl hurt himself in the warm up against Carlow so we just left him off. Ollie’s quad was at him before the game, we just said we’d test but it was getting tight so we didn’t want to take a chance. Leper is on his way back. It was good to see him out kicking a ball and running around before the game. Hopefully when we get him back this time he’s back to stay,” said McGeeney.