NEW O’Donovan Rossa senior football captain Kevin Davis is confident the Skibbereen team can atone for last season’s disappointing campaign.
The experienced forward has been handed the captain’s armband for the 2022 campaign as Skibb, under a new management team led by boss Gene O’Donovan, bid to get back on track after their shortcomings last season.
Defeated Senior A FC semi-finalists in 2020, they finished bottom of their group last year and didn’t win a game, so there is clear room for improvement.
With O’Donovan coming in as manager, Davis named captain and Donal Óg Hodnett the new vice-captain, a fresh start might be just what is needed for Skibb to get back on their feet and challenge for the big prize.
Before the county championship, Skibb will focus on the football league – the leagues throw in on the weekend of March 5th/6th – and try to build a panel for their SAFC campaign later in the year.
‘Last year is in the past at this stage so all we can do is put our heads down, work hard and see how we get on,’ Davis told The Southern Star.
‘It really is a case of taking things game by game and hopefully progressing with each match. The league will be starting soon which will be difficult as we will be down a good few players through injury. You have other guys away as well but that’s a great opportunity for other players to gain valuable experience at senior level.
‘From my own point of view, I’ve been unlucky with injuries including last year when I suffered a freak broken jaw. Hopefully, I can put a run of games together and have another good year.’
Splitting the season between inter-county and club is something a club player like Davis appreciates. The early months of the year, especially January and February, remains a hugely important time for club and inter-county players to prepare for the rigours of league and championship. All the individual training completed over the next two months will help players get ready for a steady stream of games into the summer months.
‘I’m a big fan of the split season,’ Davis said.
‘I think it is a great move, long-term, for the GAA. In my opinion, the league actually still starts a bit too early. I wouldn’t mind if it went back a couple of months because you have the potential to still be playing championship in October and November. That’s still an eight-month season if you started in March.
‘Skibb is fortunate, in a way, in that we don’t have any (senior) inter-county players so we should have a full panel available throughout the year. We certainly have enough time to work on things and try to make improvements.
‘We are not setting any goals for the coming year. Last year, we came bottom of our group so we are under no illusions. We know where we are so O’Donovan Rossa will just have to take things game by game and see where that takes us.’
An accountant with Cork company VMWare, Davis is carrying on a proud family tradition by becoming the new O’Donovan Rossa senior captain. Davis follows in the footsteps of his father Don and uncle Anthony, who captained the Skibbereen club as well as representing the Cork seniors with distinction.
‘It is a huge honour for me to become O’Donovan Rossa captain,’ Davis said.
‘Look, it is great to follow in the footsteps of my family in years gone by. I will be trying to emulate what they achieved when they wore the Skibbereen jersey. Becoming captain is an honour but won’t change, too much, how I operate as a player during the year ahead. It is still a lovely honour all the same.’