NEMO RANGERS get back on the horse again, a month after their All-Ireland club semi-final defeat by Corofin, when they host Carbery Rangers in the Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 League on Friday night at 7.45pm.
The most successful club in the competition will be steered once more by Paul O’Donovan with keeper Micheál Aodh Martin taking over the captaincy from Barry O’Driscoll.
There are a few missing from the 2019 campaign. “Peter Morgan has retired. He was dogged with injuries in the last few years. Brian Twomey has also retired.
“Padraig Nealon, who transferred to us, suffered a cruciate injury and is still not recovered yet. He’s gone back to his home club in Galway,” O’Donovan said.
Last season, Nemo were pipped on scoring difference for second place in the table and an appearance in the final, won by St Finbarr’s.
“If we could unearth another couple of players, it would be fantastic. We’ll blood guys, give them the opportunity to play at that level and see what they’re like.
“We’ll be without our Cork players for most of the league and we’ve five guys involved, so that’s a third of our team.
“I think it will be a struggle for us, a bit like last year, but we’ll go out and try and win every game.
“If we can finish mid-table or above that we’d be happy enough.”
O’Donovan was speaking at the official league launch at the Rochestown Park Hotel earlier in the week, when he shot the breeze about Corofin’s historic three-in-a-row of All-Ireland club titles.
“I watched the final and to be honest I thought it was a very dour game.
“The score after 20 minutes was a point to nil, something like that. Corofin, being the fancied team, tried to take the game to Kilcoo, who sat back and defended in numbers.
“It makes a very poor game for the spectator, but everything is about winning, not the performance nor the man-of-the-match.”
The Nemo boss had an interesting take on, possibly, the way forward for his own club or any club in attempting to dethrone the Galway standard-bearers.
“You could see what Kilcoo were at and maybe it’s a template for how you play Corofin. It’s not the way I like to play, but it’s something I’d seriously consider after watching that game.”
Corofin pulled away in extra-time, holding their opponents scoreless to register a 1-12 to 0-7 triumph.
“I thought it would be very close again in extra-time, but, clearly it wasn’t though Corofin were the ones fouling and dragging near the end.”
Corofin moved to within two of Nemo in the roll-of-honour with the Trabeg club on seven, followed by Crossmaglen Rangers on six and the current champions on five.
“It’s absolutely incredible what they’ve achieved in winning three All-Irelands in-a-row. Corofin are probably the best team of all time, definitely up there with the best.
“It was also their fourth final in six years and that’s incredible. And Corofin don’t look like slowing down either.
“Crossmaglen came close to something like that in the noughties.”