He did his chances of earning a place on the panel for the National League no harm at all on Sunday, despite only playing one half. And Dreadnots forward James Califf is delighted with how the preparations for the league campaign opener against Westmeath are going.
“That’s what is great about the team, everyone is fresh and positions are up for grabs as well. It’s a fresh start for everyone this year and there’s a bit of competitiveness within the squad which is going to contribute to the whole system as well in the long run”, explained the Dreadnots forward.
He knocked over an impressive four points on Sunday, but Califf knows there’s plenty of scorers throughout the team.
“There’s other lads there that can take scores as well. Everyone stepped up to the plate and at the back the defence has been great. It’s great to get a couple of points for yourself, but anyone can get scores on this team – Darren (Clarke) or Shane (Lennon) are there as well.”
Califf looked to have sustaining a serious shoulder injury in that opening half and he required treatment on the pitch, luckily it turned out not to be too serious.
“It’s nothing serious, just a bit of a bang. I suppose if I had’ve caught the ball in the first place I wouldn’t have gotten a bang”, added the Dreadnots man.
After Thursday disappointing second half performance from Louth, Califf and co knew they had to put in a shift for 70 minutes on Sunday.
“It was disappointing the last day against Meath”, explained the Louth forward. “We’d a chance to bury them but I suppose it was more our fault rather than Meath coming back into the game. It’s important to put it behind us and putting two halves together was a positive today.”
The Wee County’s reward for topping group A is a clash with the Dubs, it’s something Califf and the rest of the squad are relishing.
“You’d rather have a competitive game than a challenge match and Dublin is a bonus, we’ve nothing to lose and we’ll give it a good shot. There’s no point in fearing anybody at this stage, it’s winter football, but it’s all heading towards the national league.”
And it is that long term focus which Aidan O’Rourke has instilled in the squad according to Califf and the semi final against Dublin is a great opportunity to see how the side is progressing at this early stage.
“It’s all about looking at the long run in national league and the championship, so hopefully things will go well. Against Dublin next week it’s going to be a great test.”