THE CIT senior footballers are gearing up for a huge colleges final showdown against Mary Immaculate in the Trench Cup which is scheduled to be played in DCU this afternoon.
Carbery Rangers footballer Brian Hodnett has played a key role in helping CIT reach the Trench Cup final.
He is eagerly looking forward to the final.
“We are raring to go and put our best foot forward on the night. It is a massive occasion for CIT. Any final you reach, you want to go out and perform. There is a nice buzz around the college.
“Everyone within the college has been very supportive of the squad the whole year,” revealed the football ace.
The Trench Cup final is scheduled to begin at 5.30pm and it will act as the opening game before the Fitzgibbon Cup final.
This exciting colleges final double bill should attract a big crowd and a good atmosphere. Brian is looking forward to the occasion.
“It will be a great occasion. It gives our game a bit more exposure because of it being a curtain-raiser for the Fitzgibbon final.
“It should add to the occasion and atmosphere. The DCU pitch is perfect, so neither side will have any excuses on the night.”
CIT are managed by renowned coach Pat Spratt. He leads a very strong management team.
Brian is full of praise for the CIT coaching team.
“We have Pat Spratt in charge this year. Pat was involved under Keith Ricken with the Cork U20 team last year.
“He is a very good coach who wants to play the game in a positive manner. This definitely suits the squad we have.
“The selectors involved are Conor Kelleher, Brian Herlihy, Jimmy Thompson, Fachtna O’Brien and Will Twomey as strength and conditioning coach.
“All the lads are great. They are always very approachable.”
Should CIT defeat Mary I to win the Trench Cup, they will automatically qualify for the Sigerson Cup once again next year.
Brian admits that is a huge incentive for the Bishopstown based team.
“That is a huge aim. If we win next Wednesday night, we will automatically be playing Sigerson football next year.
“There’s no complacency in the squad. We know we have a big task on our hands to beat Mary I.
“Any team you come up against in a final, you know you are going to have to play to the best of your ability.”
Brian, a natural forward with his club team Carbery Rangers, has proved a revelation at wing back for CIT this year.
His astute passing and marauding runs have been integral factors in their strong championship campaign.
Brian is pleased with his form and the squad depth CIT possesses.
“I am very happy with how I’ve played this year so far, considering I’m naturally a forward. Fingers crossed I can take my good form into next week.
“We have a very strong squad. We have loads of talented players who have played both underage and senior for Cork, Kerry and Tipperary.
“We have players such as Damien Gore, Killian O’Hanlon and Kerry lads Gavin O’Brien and Kieran Murphy just to name a few.
“We have very talented club players like Dan Dineen, Mark Buckley and Eoin Lavers. We have a really good mix and balance within the team.
“We also have a very strong bench, which speaks volumes for how strong we actually are.”
Brian who is studying Recreation and Leisure is loving his time in CIT where he is in his second year.
CIT qualified for the Trench Cup final following a high scoring semi-final win against DK IT.
Brian was delighted with the nature of their win against a side managed by Oisin McConville.
“We had a very good win against DK IT. It was a great team performance. The game was very intensive and full of goals.
“Thankfully, we came out on the right side of the result. We had met them in the league semi-final before Christmas when they beat us by a goal.
“We were very motivated to put that result right.”
CIT forward Damien Gore has enjoyed a great start to the playing season for both CIT and the Cork senior footballers.
The Kilmacabea player enjoyed a very successful campaign with the Cork U20 footballers last year. Brian loves linking up with the classy forward.
“He is a great player. Just by training and playing with him, you see first hand how good he actually is. He is frighteningly direct and he will take his man on every time.
“I am delighted to see him get a go with Cork. He fully deserves it following so many great performances for Kilmacabea and the Cork U20 team over the last couple of years.
“I hope he goes on to enjoy huge success going forward in his career.”
Attention for Brian will soon turn to club matters.
Carbery Rangers have been drawn in an all West Cork championship group this season. Brian is looking forward to the start of the senior football championship.
“I am really looking forward to the club championship this year.
“The draw has thrown up some interesting games. We know what we’re about and what we’re capable off on our day.
“It is just a matter of getting the hard work done over the next few months in preparation for the first round in April.”