BY KEVIN O’BRIEN
KEITH Kennedy wants the West Cork League to mark their return to the Oscar Traynor Cup with a home win this Friday night.
West Cork kick off their first Oscar Traynor Cup campaign in six years when they host Cork AUL this Friday evening at Lyre (7.45pm).
With two away games to follow West Cork’s only home match, Kennedy is mindful of the need to take three points from this campaign opener against Cork AUL.
‘It’s hugely important that we lay down a marker if we can because the two away trips will be tough,’ said Kennedy, who was the manager the last time West Cork competed in the Oscar Traynor Cup.
Kennedy has selected a handful of West Cork’s top youth players for the competition, including the likes of Sacha Walden (Ballydehob) and Jack Cowap (Skibbereen).
‘I think we’ve accumulated a squad of both experience and youth,’ Kennedy explains.
‘It’s a building block for future teams. The way forward is to bring youthful players and combine them with the more experienced players in the league.’
Asking him about his hopes for the tournament coming up Kennedy said that getting to the knock-out rounds would be fantastic.
‘We would all love to win it but I think, being realistic, it’s our first year back in the competition, so we have to have realistic targets. To get out of the group would be fantastic because we play three good teams. Anything further would be dreamland,’ Kennedy said.
The good news for Kennedy and his coaching staff is that there are no injury concerns.
‘Injury wise we are looking okay and there is nothing realistically we have to worry about,’ he confirmed.
Goals shouldn’t be a problem for this West Cork team as there are a wealth of striking options at his disposal with the likes of Mark Cronin (Ballydehob), Barry O’Driscoll (Drinagh Rangers), Dan MacEoin (Baltimore) and Cork GAA ace Colm O’Driscoll (Skibbereen) all included in the 35-man squad.
‘We have some outstanding forwards in our team,’ Kennedy said, before adding, ‘we would have preferred to have more than one home game but the lads are up to the challenge and it is a great opportunity to push on and progress to the next phase of the competition’.