BY DENIS HURLEY
THE past few years may been lean for the Dohenys senior footballers, but manager Tim Buckley sees parallels with the current side and the players who drove the club’s progress to senior level two decades ago.
Next Monday, the Dunmanway side will seek to reignite their championship campaign when they take on CIT in round 2B of the county SFC in Newcestown (7.45pm). Dohenys lost their opener against Aghada, but the year as a whole has been a good one for the club, claiming the Carbery U21AFC for the first time since 2000.
Many of that side are part of the senior team too, and Buckley feels that there are similarities with the group of players who helped Dohenys to the county junior title in 1993 and then the intermediate in 1995.
‘The age-profile of the team would of college-going age,’ he says.
‘They’re nearly all around for the summer, thankfully, and it’s important that we keep them together if we’re not move on again.
‘I remember our rise in the early 90s, when I was involved, and the current team would remind me of that. The U21 win has been very beneficial and will have given the lads a lot of confidence, hopefully now we can translate that to senior level.
‘We’re playing in Division 3 in the league and, with all respect to the teams there, we need to get out of it. We’ve emphasised to the players that we need to be rubbing shoulders with the top clubs, as it really helps you to improve.’
It could be said that Dohenys are playing CIT at a good time, with exams over and therefore the possibility of players being unavailable to the college side, but Buckley gives short shrift to any notion that it will be easy.
‘You have to look at it from CIT’s point of view,’ he says, ‘they’re probably thinking that we’re one of the weaker teams and it’s a chance for them, they always have a point to prove about the participation of divisions and colleges in the championship.
‘When we came in as a new management set-up, we felt that it was best to ensure that the focus was on ourselves and getting a good flow of performances. When we’re bad, we’re very bad, but when we’re good we feel that there is a lot of potential there.
‘It’s about ensuring that we show that when we go out.’