KEVIN DAVIS will carry on a proud family tradition as the new O’Donovan Rossa captain for the 2022 Bon Secours Cork SAFC campaign.
These are changing times for West Cork Senior A Football club O’Donovan Rossa. Gene O’Donovan has taken over the managerial reigns and is hoping to turn around the fortunes of a club desperate for senior A championship success.
Kevin Davis has been elected the new O’Donovan Rossa senior captain for 2022.
Carrying on a strong family tradition, Davis follows in the footsteps of his father Don and uncle Anthony, who both represented the west Cork club and Cork seniors with such distinction.
“It is a huge honour for me,” he said.
“Look, it is great to follow in the footsteps of my family in years gone by. I will be trying to emulate what they achieved when they wore the Skibbereen jersey.
It is fair to say that the 2021 Bon Secours Cork SAFC did not go the way O’Donovan Rossa would have envisaged.
A draw with Bandon followed by consecutive defeats to Dohenys and Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh marooned Rossa’s at the bottom of Group A and out of the championship before the knockout stages began.
On a personal level, Kevin Davis racked up eight points in the 1-13 to 2-10 draw with the Lilywhites but suffered a nasty facial injury that saw the talented forward make an enforced exit from the Dohenys game and miss the final group encounter with Ballingeary.
The margins for error in the Cork GAA county championships have become wafer-thin. So, for the coming year, Kevin Davis and his teammates will be as eager to build on their 2020 county semi-final appearance as eradicating the memories of their most recent championship campaign.
“Last year really opened our eyes as to how closely matched every team in the senior A grade is,” Davis said.
"Whoever comes out on top of the senior A championship certainly deserves it. From our own point of view, I think a lot of things didn’t go for us last year.
“I see the potential in this O’Donovan Rossa panel though and know we can achieve something.
"So, it is a case of everyone working hard and keeping our heads down throughout the coming year. We are hopeful that we can put our stamp on the championship, if we get the chance, and get a bit of luck along the way too.”
Although O’Donovan Rossa look set to lose one or two players for the coming season, there is enough raw material present to make an impact in the championship. Ryan Price, Donal Óg Hodnett, Mark Collins, Daniel Hazel, Thomás Hegarty and a crop of emerging minor and U20 talent gives O’Donovan Rossa a fighting chance of enjoying a productive year.
“Having a new management team coming in is important for the current group of players and especially any of those who have been on the periphery of the team over the last couple of years,” the new O’Donovan Rossa captain stated.
“The new management team coming in will give players that extra bit of motivation. It is also great for the younger lads as a new voice is always good to have every couple of years.
"So, playing for a new manager will keep everyone on their toes and make sure everyone works as hard as they possibly can for O’Donovan Rossa.” There is also plenty of experience inside the Skibbereen dressing room including Donal Óg Hodnett, elected as vice-captain for the upcoming campaign.
“Donal Óg has been there, done that, and was O’Donovan Rossa captain for a good few years himself,” Davis commented.
“As captain, Donal Óg will be a good person to lean on. We also have the likes of Ryan Price, Paudie Crowley and Daniel Hazel involved and they are all former captains as well.
"This team is full of leaders and everyone is going to pitch in, set the tone on the training pitch and lead by example.”
Led by their new captain and a determined panel, O’Donovan Rossa looked primed to bounce back from a disappointing 2021 season and make their mark in the upcoming Bon Secours Cork SAFC.