By Shaun Casey
DROMINTEE will head into the new season without two of their stalwarts with Shane McCoy and Peadar O’Hare both retiring.
McCoy, a free-taking goalkeeper and last year’s joint-captain O’Hare were “great servants to the club,” according to manager John Kennedy.
“Our goalkeeper retired; Shane McCoy hung the boots up. Peadar O’Hare married and moved to Monaghan, and he is hanging the boots up too.
“We knew that halfway through last year, we even knew about Shane at the start of last year, it was a fight to get him back last year.
“He’s crippled with hip problems and knee problems and every day after games they were too severe on him. Getting up and down stairs was an issue for him, so he decided to call it a day.
“They were two great servants to the club, so they will be a loss. But we’ve a couple of younger ones coming in at the other end, Aaron McManus, Aaron McArdle, Luke Kelly, Gareth Martin, Donal O’Neill. They’re certainly capable of playing senior football at some stage this year.”
There is a new addition to the management team however with Dromintee native Mal O’Rourke, who won a Dublin Senior Championship with DCU, replacing the outgoing Stephen Kearney, who has linked up with Danny Hughes in Saval.
2021 was a historic year for the St Patrick’s club as Kennedy’s side recorded only their second-ever league crown, but a poor championship outing against Silverbridge was a bad end to an otherwise memorable season.
“Last year’s buzz was very short lived because we were turned over in the championship then a couple of weeks later. It’s very quickly forgotten about.
“We enjoyed the two or three days after it, the club has only won one league title in their history, so we did enjoy, we did appreciate the fact that they don’t come around every year.
“But the championship defeat would have knocked the wind out of our sails again. It would have left the season on a bit of a low as opposed to if you had of got over Silverbridge and maybe got a wee bit of a run, you could have built momentum.
“We did well, we won the league. There are only two trophies you can play for, and we got one of them, it’s a decent year but we were very disappointed in our championship performance against Silverbridge.”
This year, making “inroads into the championship” is the main target for Kennedy and his men, as well as securing their place in the topflight.
“It’s a very tight league. Usually, relegation and promotion aren’t decided to very late into that league campaign. Obviously, your main priority is securing Division One status, 1A status, and hoping to get a bit of a run in the championship.
“You would be looking to defend your league title but it’s not a priority. If you don’t win the league this year it’ll not be the end of the world, but we’ll certainly look to make inroads into the championship. That would be the goal this year.”