THIS is an exciting period in the history of Cill Na Martra and they are targeting another productive campaign in 2021.
Backboned by the experience of Cork All Ireland winner from 2010 in Noel O’Leary, the club from the Muskerry Gaeltacht also have benefitted from a good influx of promising youth, Among them are current Cork Senior Footballer Tadhg Corkery, Daniel Dineen and Michael Desmond, the brother of talented Irish boxer Christina.
The progress made in Cill Na Martra can also be highlighted by the fact that they have been playing Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 League football.
They made it to the semi-final of the Cork Premier Intermediate Football Championship in 2020, narrowly missing out on making the decider by just a point against Kanturk.
This time around in 2021, Cill Na Martra in the Cork PIFC will be facing into a group that will consist of Nemo Rangers, St Vincent’s and the winners of Mitchelstown v Rockchapel’s IAFC county decider clash.
My first reaction would be it is great to be after getting the draw.
"We are set to go back onto the pitches training in the next couple of weeks and it is great to have the draw made,” said Cill Na Martra manager Kevin O’Sullivan.
“At least we know who we are playing and we have some plan to work on when we get back. We are drawn again with St Vincent’s who are always a very good championship side. Nemo Rangers, it is hard to know what they will bring and they have such a pool of talent inside. It will depend if their seniors are after playing and what players they have available.
"But you are meeting a very good football side in Nemo. Whether it be Mitchelstown or Rockchapel, the champions that come up from the grade below they always seem to do well on my experience anyway.
"We would have played both teams down through the years in the lower intermediate grade. But two good teams that will add greatly to the competition.”
All in all there is a good blend of experience and youthful flair to this Cill Na Martra side.
“Everyone knows about Noel (O’Leary) and what he brings to the show. We had a very good U21 side going back to around 2017 and 2018, where we won the U21 Mid Cork Championship and lost the U21 county final to Douglas.
“They are after coming through and making a big difference to the setup. We have got a good blend there and it is all about putting it together for championship time really.”