FOLLOWING the Dundalk FC Community Trust AGM on Thursday night, those in attendance had the chance to pose their questions towards manager Stephen Kenny and five of the players in the 2013 squad during a Q and A session.
The players in attendance were Peter Cherrie, Stephen McDonnell, Tiernan Mulvenna, Patrick Hoban and John Dillon.
Kenny started the session with the statement that he is still on the lookout for three more players.
“We have a squad of 16 players. We are looking to buy another goalkeeper, another striker and a left sided player to conclude the squad.”
He also said a lot of younger players are training with the squad at the moment also, including Conor McDonald and Sammy Osobe. Kenny also clarified the situation with prolific young striker Bob McKenna, stating that he plans to go to America on a scholarship.
The session then moved into Kenny discussing the players in attendance.
“Pat Hoban scored 12 goals for Mervue last season, and he has moved up to the town and put his life on hold, so he is giving this 100%”.
Stephen McDonnell was next up. “Stephen has taken it among himself to put himself through a strict fitness regime in the off season. He’s been in the gym four to five days a week working on it. He knew he fell short last season physically, but now he is flying around the pitch in pre-season, so he has a promising season ahead”, said Kenny.
Kenny then discussed Mulvenna. “He really wanted to play for the club. He is passionate about it and he really wants to get among the goals this season.”
John Dillon was next in the firing line. “He scored 11 goals from midfield the season before last. He is creative and he is beautiful on the ball. He really is a breath of fresh air to the club”.
Peter Cherrie didnt get discussed very much because Kenny stated to those in attendance, “You already know what this guy can do”.
When asked about expectations for the season, Kenny said: “It’s an interesting season ahead. I can’t see anyone being weak.”
He also mentioned his playing style, stating against the big teams like Shamrock Rovers and Sligo, “We won’t be playing to contain. I don’t play that way. We will be going out to get the three points”, which brought a big round of applause from those in attendance. He acknowledged that the team will have setbacks and that the club need to be realistic.
When asked about the media coverage of the club both locally and nationally, Kenny stated: “I think the coverage could be much better in the local papers. The club is of great importance locally and we need more pages promoting the club and players in these papers. But that’s only my opinion.”
Kenny was also asked about the lack of experience in the squad, saying: “We have bought players with a point to prove. They are experienced despite their young age. I would rather buy players with potential to progress rather than someone older who is on the way down.”
He acknowledged that the team would need luck with injuries but that “we will try to limit them as much as possible.”
Details of a training trip to Bunclody in Wexford came up with the team having numerous sessions down there at the weekend, which assistant manager Vinny Perth organised. “Getting hard work done” was how Kenny described it. The issue of the pitch then got asked towards the players in attendance and how they were coping with it. “We will adapt to the pitch. Once it’s watered, it should be alright”, said John Dillon.
Kenny finished the session by stating: “The players we have here are as good as anyone. And we will work our socks off to get good results throughout the season.”