LOUTH U21s face Kilkenny on Wednesday evening in their Cadbury’s Leinster U21 Championship opener and team selector Colm Nally believes the senior experience of captain Eoin O’Connor and Cathal Bellew will be invaluable.
“He (O’Connor) has great leadership qualities and his run out with the Senior team in Galway should add that extra bit of drive and experience, which should rub off on the other lads. The same is true for Cathal. Their step up to senior level will be very valuable to the whole team.”
Building momentum at this level is essential to getting a good run in the competition.
“We’re heading down to Kilkenny on Wednesday and although football wouldn’t be the dominant sport there we’ll be taking nothing for granted. It’s all about momentum at this level. If you get it going you can certainly cause a shock,” added Nally.
Colm and the rest of the U21 backroom staff have found it difficult to find any information about Kilkenny ahead of the match.
“I know a Kilkenny side beat a Louth U19 side several years ago, so we’ll respect kilkenny for sure.”
The difficulty of playing a match in midweek is something Colm is all too aware of.
“The logistics of it will be very difficult. We’ll have to pick up lads on the way down from different colleges along the way. But it’s the same for all teams.”
On the injury front there are some minor concerns. “William Woods and both Eoin and Cathal are carrying niggles. Anthony Williams is carrying a groin injury as well so we’ll have to see what happens there.”
With a short time to prepare for the league, Louth still managed to overcome UCD in a warm up match recently and Colm stated that there will be a “quick fire” series of games coming up, with the winners of Wednesday night’s game possibly playing in the next round the following Saturday (March 10).