Wayne Kierans reckons the O'Byrne Cup "has served its purpose" for Louth ahead of the upcoming National League campaign. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Wayne Kierans reckons the O'Byrne Cup "has served its purpose" for Louth ahead of the upcoming National League campaign.
After winning against Meath in round one, The Reds suffered losses to Offaly and Westmeath either side of Christmas, with Saturday's defeat by the latter ending the county's involvement in the pre-season competition.
However, having handed out a dozen debuts across the winter programme, Kierans feels Louth are in a good place as they prepare for the crucial visit to Longford at the end of the month.
"The O'Byrne Cup has served its purpose for us," Kierans said.
"We got a lot of players game-time, established players and new players, so I think we will look back on it, with one good result and two defeats, as not too much of an issue, as long as we learn from it and realise what we have to do for a couple of weeks' time."
He added: "There are an awful lot of places up for grabs in terms of training over the next few weeks and the challenge game (against London) next weekend.
"There are an awful lot of places to be taken and that's the way it should be. So it's up to the boys over the next few weeks to nail down (their spots).
"Some of the lads have had a good O'Byrne Cup, particularly one or two of the new guys, so they'll be heavily in contention to start the league: Niall Sharkey, Liam Jackson and more.
"Oisín Murray, I think, has been excellent. There is positivity there in terms of new lads coming in because it is a difficult step to step up to.
"Gerry Garland, I thought, was excellent for a young player. So if we push them lads on over the next few weeks and get some National League minutes in them, we'll see can they contribute."