JOHNHSTOWNRIDGE midfielder Sean Hurley is back on the Kildare senior football panel.
Hurley was temporarily dropped from the squad ahead of the Leinster senior championship quarter-final against Offaly but having served an internal suspension, the towering midfielder returned to training last Tuesday (4 June). He will play for the Kildare juniors tomorrow night (Wednesday, 12 June) when they play Wicklow in a Leinster semi-final.
Hurley guided the juniors past Meath in the quarter-finals two weeks ago. Clubmates Keith Cribbin and Cathal McNally will also be available for Kildare junior manager Dermot Finn for Wednesday’s game at St Conleth’s Park.
The Johnstownbridge trio are part of Kieran McGeeney’s senior panel but will take the opportunity to get some game time under their belt on Wednesday.
“Keith is a fabulous footballer and it’s great to have the junior team as a vehicle to get the likes of him back on the senior team,” said Finn. “Sean is a brilliant footballer as he showed against Meath and hopefully the likes of him can benefit from getting some football under their belts.”
Finn intends to focus on what his players can do rather than what Wicklow will be doing in the game.
“It’s more about concentrating on our lads. We know from previous years that Wicklow are going to be a big physical side so it’s just about getting our lads in tune to that and playing together.”
There haven’t been many training sessions as a squad since the win over Meath in the quarter-finals as the juniors want to avoid stepping on the toes of club teams.
“We are meeting tonight (Monday). We’re trying not to get in the way of any club trainings. It’s a young squad, they are getting plenty of football without getting too much if you know what I mean,” said manager Finn, who is pleased to be carrying on the work of Tony Kelly in creating a bridge between the underage sections and the senior panel.
“It’s something that Tony had been working on for a few years because there were a lot of players missing out from that underage bracket, from under-21s to senior. It was something he started and we are just trying to carry the baton. We’ve been trying to get a development squad going to feed into the senior squad but it’s hard because we are restricted to players who are eligible for junior football. We had a fair idea of the backbone of the team, there were lads who had a good year with the under-21s too so that stood to them in good stead.”