AN extended break over the Christmas period won’t halt the momentum of an in-form Rockmount side who are top of the MSL senior Premier Division league.
With nine wins from nine, Eddie Kenny’s squad are motivated more than ever and they plan to use this period to get the squad fitter and faster.
“Obviously lads want to play games more than anything but we respect the league's decision to halt the resumption for the moment but I suppose clarity on the reassurance of the league resuming would be important to clubs,” said Kenny.
Kenny took over from club legend Billy Cronin at the beginning of the season, and although they were big boots to fill, he certainly hasn’t disappointed. He has assembled an excellent squad and one he believes have shown the requisite hard work to match their obvious talent.
“The lads have trained extremely hard to be honest. The attitude from every player has been excellent and I believe we are where we are because we trained hard, simple as. We focused a lot on running and we will continue to do a lot more running over the next month because we have already seen the benefits of being fit.” Pleased with how the season has started, Kenny is thrilled to see his targets being reached step by step.
“Overall I have to be pleased with how the season is going, nine wins from nine. When I took over from Billy at the start of the season I suppose this is the start that I wished for but it’s also that start we all worked hard to achieve.
“We’ve been training away twice a week right up to Christmas with just Christmas week off. We played Blarney in a friendly on December 28 and were due to play Castleview two days later but obviously, Covid put a halt to that.
"Once we’re allowed to train we will definitely continue to do so as there is great momentum in the squad and there are a lot of targets that inspire the lads to keep going and want to train. But look at the end of the day the lads also just want to play games, so hopefully. it won’t be long before we’re back playing.
“By the end of the season hopefully all our targets will have been achieved. We’ve kept our targets very small since the beginning of the season. Our first target was to get three points in our opening game, next target was to get double digits, then 21, then 30. Were on 27 at the moment with nine from nine games so we’re happy.
“Putting a trophy on the table is always a target for any team in the club at the beginning of the season so certainly the league title will be a big target for us. Anything after that is a bonus and thankfully we’re lucky enough to be still involved in all the cups. We’re in the last 16 of the FAI Intermediate Cup, quarter-final of the Munster Senior Cup, which we are the holders of, and the semi-final of the Donie Forde. The Beamish and O’Connell Cups haven’t kicked off yet so there’s still a lot to play for and we hope to have a good run in all which would be great.” Over the Christmas period, Kenny has added to his squad and has brought in the experienced Cian Murphy. He joins the club from a League of Ireland background, having played with Galway and more recently Cobh Ramblers.
“Cian is a great addition for us. Although he’s come into a squad that are very strong already in his centre-back position with Jason Sexton being our best player this season, I think Cian will add something different.
"First and foremost he has a great attitude and he is willing to work hard to break into the team. We already have lads like Sexton, Adam Crowley, Kaka and Cian O’Driscoll, who have all done exceptionally, but adding Cian will only increase their performance levels.” Recently we have seen many players make the step up from MSL to the League of Ireland.
“I understand why young lads want to take the chance of playing there and best of luck to them for taking that step. There are also lads who have made the step up for the guarantee of playing football.
"I can understand why players moved from the MSL in the past 24 months especially, as League of Ireland was elite and there was more of a chance to play as games always went ahead at elite level as opposed to amateur level.
"With lads leaving the MSL, I think it has diluted the standard a little bit as you see the likes of Avondale and Midleton have lost a few. Then you see sides such as Carrigaline have picked up some ex-League of Ireland players too, which has made the MSL more interesting I suppose.
"Either way, I just hope we get back playing as soon as possible when safe to do so. I’m delighted to be part of such a great hard-working squad and hopefully come the end of the season we will have reaped the rewards.”