KATIE Cronin cannot wait for Castlehaven’s first season competing in the Cork LGFA senior county championship.
After last year’s county intermediate title win Castlehaven will test themselves in the top tier of Cork club football in 2023.
‘Obviously, it is a great achievement to get up to senior and everyone is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead,’ Cronin told The Southern Star at the club’s recent victory dinner dance in The West Cork Hotel.
‘We are not going up senior to make up the numbers. As a team, we will just try to do what we normally do, prepare right, do the gym work, running and all that goes with preparing for a championship.
‘Hopefully that will be enough to make us competitive and get as far as we can in the championship.’
In terms of pedigree, Castlehaven has already shown what they are capable of by overcoming senior club Clonakilty to win the 2022 West Cork LGFA Division 1 final.
‘Ourselves and Clon’s (West Cork) final was a very tight game in which we only won by a point,’ Cronin said.
‘It is good to have an idea of the quality of opponents we are going to face up in senior. It is important that we don’t walk into the new season blind. Close matches like the ones we had with Clon and Glanmire too in the (intermediate) county final shows where Castlehaven is at right now.’
Castlehaven’s brilliant rise from junior D to senior, including four county titles in a row, means their graph remains upward heading into the new season. There are serious challenges ahead at senior level: taking on the likes of Mourneabbey, Éire Óg, Aghada and Bride Rovers, as well as West Cork rivals Kinsale and Clonakilty.
‘Of course there is that bit of added pressure when you move up to senior,’ Cronin agreed.
‘As a player, you really just have to take each game as it comes. There is no point in thinking too much about being up in senior because you could very easily lose focus and affect how you play.
‘There is a great bond in our dressing room and you definitely need that. We are great friends and you can see that on and off the pitch. Obviously we have great nights out, but on the pitch everyone is able to communicate with each other. That’s important.’
At the club’s victory dinner, Cork and Castlehaven legend Niall Cahalane presented medals to members of the Castehaven’s senior, U21, minor and U16 panels during a superbly-organised event.