Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Kildare under-21s

Kildare under-21s

Kildare will stick with the same starting 15 for tomorrow night’s (Wednesday. 3 April) Leinster under-21 football championship final against Longford.

Apart from a few slight niggles, there were no major injury concerns for the side that hammered Laois by 3-22 to 0-7 in their Leinster semi-final.

“Everybody should be alright,” said McGeeney. “Hughie (Mahon) did very well when he came on (against Laois), so did Conor (Murphy) but in fairness to the team that started they were moving well.”

Kildare are back in the Leinster final for the first time since 2008, when they beat Wexford to win their ninth title, before going on to lose the All-Ireland against Kerry. Since then the county has had a frustrating time at under-21 level. After a crushing semi-final defeat to Laois in 2009, this year’s quarter-final victory against Meath was the first win in the competition in four years.

“You’d feel for the likes of Alan (Barry) over the last couple of years,” said McGeeney on Friday, referring to his predecessor as under-21 manager. “When you take (Paul) Cribbin out of that (current) team and then Fionn (Dowling) was missing and Tommy (Moolick) was missing and it was always just getting beaten by a point.”

Wednesday night’s final represents the chance for McGeeney to win his first championship crown as manager and it’s an opportunity he doesn’t want to pass by.

“You don’t get to too many All-Irelands or Leinster play-offs, whether it’s National League or whether it’s under-21 championship, you don’t get too many chances at them. You have to take them when they come.”

KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Michael Konstantin, David Hyland, Sean Higgins; Paul Cribbin, Fergal Conway, Jonathan Byrne; Tommy Moolick, Sean Hurley; Liam McGovern, Niall Kelly, Daniel Flynn; Paddy Brophy, Fionn Dowling, Padraig Fogarty.

LEINSTER U21 FC FINAL: KILDARE V LONGFORD, 7.30PM, PORTLAOISE

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