THEY won’t play their first game in the Cork Premier Senior Football Championship until late August, but Carbery preparations begin next Monday night.
Tim Buckley’s charges take on a Cork senior football development squad (U25) in Dunmanway (7.30pm), and it’s an opportunity for the division’s manager to cast his eyes over potential players for his 2023 squad.
In 2022 a resurgent Carbery won the Tadhg Crowley Cup and competed in the quarter-finals of the Cork Premier SFC. Off the back of that success they are seeded in the semi-finals of the divisional/colleges’ section this season, and will be in action on the weekend of August 23rd/24th.
Five months out, Tim Buckley is already busy planning for the campaign ahead, starting with Monday night’s challenge game that should draw a sizeable crowd to Dunmanway.
‘We feel there are plenty of players in Carbery who are good enough to play a part in what we are trying to do, and this is a good opportunity against a strong opposition,’ Buckley explains.
He named a preliminary squad last week, which will be trimmed down to a match-day panel for Monday night’s game. Goalkeeper Ronan Kennedy (Goleen), Darragh Holland (Argideen Rangers), Niall Hayes (Kilmacabea), Darren O’Donovan (St Mary’s), Peter Collins and Conor O'Neill (Randal Óg) and Sean Crowley (Diarmuid Ó Mathunas) are some of the Carbery players who are in line to feature against a Cork team that includes plenty of local names. Barryroe forward Ryan O’Donovan, who is part of Carbery’s plans this season, could line out for the Cork development team on Monday night, while Dan Peet (Clonakilty), Joe O’Shea (Urhan), Peter O'Driscoll (Ilen Rovers), former Ilen footballer Alex Hassett (St Judes in Dublin) are all set to be involved.
This game will be Carbery’s first get-together as they plan for the campaign ahead and how to build on the progress made in 2022. Strengthening the panel is key. A number of Carbery players, including Brian O’Driscoll and Ruairi Deane, are currently involved with county panels, and no county players will feature on Monday night. Carbery boss Buckley feels there are more players in the division good enough to put their hands up for county selection.
‘There are more in West Cork who should at least be on the development squad. This is a chance for lads to show that they are good enough to be in consideration for the development panel as well as put their hands up for Carbery. It’s early in the season but we want to build on what we achieved last season and we want to put the best possible Carbery team on the pitch,’ he added.