Clann Eireann Senior footballers will be hoping to get their season off to a positive start when they host Lissummon in their Division Two opener on Sunday.
With the club pitch looking the worse for wear after heavy rain and equally weighty training sessions – coupled with the Marie Hoye and Caitriona McKeag tournament being hosted this Saturday – the current venue for Sunday’s game currently remains unclear.
Player-manager Mark Beatty, however, says two points against the South Armagh outfit is the only thing he is worrying about at the minute.
“After last year, we know how important it is to hit the ground running and build momentum from the very first game,” he said.
“It took us far too long to find our stride last season and we made life very difficult for ourselves. Clann Eireann want to be challenging for the Division Two title this year and the only way we can do that is by focusing on Lissummon and getting two points on the board this Sunday.
“We know it won’t be easy. They will be coming down here with the same intentions as ourselves but we know that we’ve put in the hard work and if we play to our strengths then there’s no reason why we cann’t get off to a good start in the League,” he added.
Clann Eireann will host the Grange on April 27 before tasting their first local derby away to St Paul’s on Friday, May 2.
For the first time in the club’s history, Clann Eireann will also be registering a team to compete in Armagh’s Division Three. This decision is expected to create fierce competition for places within the ranks, as two squads will be picked for every weekend of fixtures.
Former Clann Eireann forward Ruairi Lavery will take the reins of the Division Three team for the upcoming season and the 1997 College Allstar says the current set-up will benefit the club in the long run.
“We are going to have to be very clever in how we run the two teams to make sure we aren’t short on numbers for each team but I believe if we can get it right then Clann Eireann will reap the rewards in the coming years,” he said.
“A number of other Armagh teams have been doing it for a couple of years and they have made huge strides at senior level. Regular football is only going to benefit our players. This Division Three team is also the perfect stepping stone for young lads who are just out of Minor but maybe lack the physicality to play senior football in Division Two.
“This will help bring them on leaps and bounds. This year will be a learning curve for the club but hopefully we can take to it quite quickly,” added Lavery.
The Division Three team will be at home to Killeavy II this weekend, before travelling to Belleck and Clady on April 27 and May 4 respectively.
With the club gunning for success in two Leagues this season, Clann Eireann would like to state that it would be impossible to achieve our seasonal aims without the continued support and backing of our members and avid followers. A healthy turnout at each of Sunday’s games could massively contribute to our objective of gaining four points this weekend and act as a building block for the season ahead.