MAYFIELD star player Nicky Kelly will be hoping his injury hoodoo stays away from him as he gets ready to return training for the forthcoming Intermediate A Hurling Championship.
Kelly is a vital part of the Mayfield setup but his darting runs and precision free-taking weren’t seen last season because of injury.
“I played only 20 minutes of hurling for the entire championship and that was against Aghabullogue in the quarter-final but to be honest I shouldn’t have played because of the tear in my hamstring,” said Nicky Kelly.
This year Mayfield have been drawn in the same group as city clubs Blackrock and Douglas with the winners of Russell Rovers and Castlemartyr joining them.
“In my book, the draw is very tough as you do not know what you’re going to get with the Douglas and Blackrock second teams as they have so much talent coming through their clubs. To be brutally honest I think the winners of Russell Rovers and Castlemartyr is probably going to be the stiffest test as both clubs are going very well.”
The last few years have been tough for Mayfield since their stunning 2017 Junior All-Ireland championship win.
“The reality is in 2017 we lost to a very good Aghada side and the following year it was the same against Ballincollig and losing two semi-finals was disappointing as we gave it all to reach the summit.”
Since the All-Ireland success, Mayfield haven’t seen many players coming through and that’s always going to be a problem.
We didn’t replace Kieran Brosnan or Dan Lucey and in reality producing quality players is a problem for all clubs but I think this season we have added a couple and hopefully that will make a difference.”
This season Mayfield appointed a new coach in Ger Dinan and with Joey Sheehan also in the backroom, Kelly believes the players will respond.
“I have never been a player to criticise coaches within our club because they are all volunteers and at the end of the day they all do their best.
“For some strange reason, Mayfield players seem to react better to an outside voice as we saw with John Boylan and Seamus Lawton and hopefully this year Ger can get a different reaction from the players.”
Time is not on the side for a number of Mayfield players and Nicky is urging his teammates to show the required tenacity in this championship.
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