IF Bandon hurling captain Darren Crowley could hand pick his club’s first opponents in next year’s Cork SHC campaign, he’d plump for Newcestown!
It’s been a terrific year for Bandon hurling as they won the county premier intermediate championship with wins over Charleville, Watergrasshill, Kilworth, Mallow and Fermoy to ascend into the senior ranks for 2017.
On the back of that achievement, Crowley received a Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star of the Month Award for October recently, an accolade he said he was accepting on behalf of his county-winning team.
‘As a team and a group we’re looking forward to senior hurling and testing ourselves against the best in the county,’ the 28-year-old said. ‘It is the next level up so we know that we’ll have to up our training and performance levels if we want to compete. The preparation has to go to the next level.
‘Every club player and club wants to play at the highest level and you need to have that ambition to get there, stay there and compete. We want to be successful at that level.
‘We’ll be playing teams that we haven’t played before and that’s exciting in itself. Other clubs won’t know too much about us so we might have a surprise factor going for us.
‘It’s a new challenge and that will bring the best out of the lads too. It can get mundane playing the same teams year in and year out,’ he admitted, before being asked who would be like to face first in senior hurling next year.
‘If we got to pick, it would be nice to get the neighbours in Newcestown,’ he smiled.
‘It would be great to play any of the prominent senior teams like the Glen and Sars, teams who have been there and done it all.’
Crowley also hopes that the momentum the club has built up these past two season, in football first and now hurling, can carry Bandon into 2017.
‘We had a successful year this year on the back of winning the county junior football title in 2015 so we’re hoping the success we have enjoyed this year will drive even more success next year,’ he said.
‘It’s very hard to stop momentum and we need to take what we’ve learned and achieved that past two seasons, and the confidence we’ve built up as a result, into senior hurling.’