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Clonakilty footballers target championship after sealing promotion to Division 1

May 31st, 2024 7:30 AM

By Sean Holland

Clonakilty footballers target championship after sealing promotion to Division 1 Image
Clonakilty's Darragh Gough goes past Castlehaven's Ciaran O'Sullivan during their 2023 Cork Premier SFC clash. The clubs will meet again on July 26th in Rosscarbery.

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ONE down, one to go. The Clonakilty senior footballers have been in terrific form this season. Seven wins from seven games in Division 2 means the Brewery Town’s footballers will be playing football in Cork's top division next season after they secured their promotion. That’s the first goal of the year achieved.

The next goal is the big one: to rattle the county senior football championship.

‘Everybody's aim at the start of the year, no matter what competition you enter, is to win it. Our first aim of the year was to get promotion. Our ultimate aim is to win the county championship,’ Clonakilty selector Eoin Ryan told The Southern Star.

Ryan, under the stewardship of boss Martin O’Brien, can see that this side are developing and the results on the pitch this season is proof of that.

Their 1-18 to 1-12 victory away to Knocknagree last weekend means the Division 2 table-toppers are assured of promotion with two games to go. Job done.

Clonakilty manager Martin O'Brien.

This Clonakilty team has had to deal with a turnover in players over the last two years, but Ryan is very pleased with the squad at their disposal at the moment.

‘To be fair, we have a good team coming there with a while,’ he explained.

‘We were in the county final three years ago. There are young fellas growing up and coming onto that team now as well. We’ve had a few lads who have left in the last few years. Only Jack O'Mahony is gone from last year, I'd say we have everybody else. But we lost a good few the year before.

‘We’ve had a couple of new faces come in since. Simon Murphy and Griffin Wharton-Lynch are new additions but fellas who were around the panel there last year and the year before have put their hand up too, and they’re coming into it. They are all well capable and all good footballers. It's just about us getting the best out of them now,’ said Ryan.

Looking ahead to the championship, Clon will meet some familiar faces in Group B, as local rivals Castlehaven and Carbery Rangers are there, along with St Michael’s. No easy games.

‘The draw seems to throw this up every year now – it’s ourselves, Castlehaven, and Carbery Rangers. Then there’s St Michaels who are a good team as well. There are very small margins between coming out of the group and getting to a quarter-final or being in a relegation final,’ Ryan admitted.

‘We have Castlehaven in the first game. After what they did last year, I think they're number one seeds, and deservedly so. We'll be looking forward to it because we'll have a good go. We fully believe that if we get it right on the day, that we can beat them. After that, we'll see how it goes.’

With an encouraging league campaign laying the foundations, Clon will be looking forward to what the county championship brings.


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