MOVING up from Division 2 to the top flight of football can be a daunting prospect for some teams but Castledermot have taken things in their stride.
The south Kildare side remain undefeated after three games, having picked up five points including two impressive wins against county champions Sarsfields and Confey. Their good start is all the more remarkable considering they have a new man in charge of the team but Thomas Harney has settled in well and is enjoying working with a talented young squad.
“It’s been a good enough start there now. There is a good young team there, sound lads and very good to work with. They are very keen to play football and that’s it. Things were already in place when I got there. The team reached a Kildare under-21 final last year so things were in good shape when I arrived,” said the Dunlavin club man.
Castledermot drew with Clane in their opening game before earning back-to-back victories against the Sash and Confey.
“I don’t know if Sarsfields were missing many now but we had a good win, that was a good morale boasting win,” said Harney. “Getting a good start to the league takes a bit of pressure off us. It means that come the end of the year we mightn’t be under as much pressure to get a few points.”
It all bodes well for what is a mouth-watering clash in the first round of the intermediate championship against the favourites Johnstownbridge in a month’s time.
“Hopefully we can continue this form leading into the first round of the championship. We’ve picked up a few injuries along the way. If they can clear up and we have everybody available for the first round of the championship we will be happy enough,” he said.
Last year’s under-21 team make up the bulk of the squad but relying on so many young players brings its own difficulties.
“With such a young squad, we have a lot of lads away at college during the week. The last two weeks the preparation has been quite good because a lot of them have been off college but if they are in college, what can you do? They have to study and sort out their careers too,” said Harney.
It’s not only young players in the team though and there is a nice blend of youth and experience for Harney to choose from.
“We have players like Damien Hendy, Sean Murphy, Paddy Mahon, Anthony Redmond, Anthony Lawlor, lads with a good few years experience. They get on quite well with the young lads and they fit in nicely. Damien is a super help for us, he brings a lot of positivity to the camp.”
Next up for Castledermot is the short trip to local rivals St Laurence’s.
“We have St Laurence’s up next so that will be quite a tough game. We have to go play it though and we will play it and we are looking forward to it. We will be complete underdogs but that is something that the lads are used to.”
If Castledermot continue on their current run of form, even their coy manager won’t be able to play the underdog card.