Kier­ans keen to get started with first Louth panel

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT - JOHN SAV­AGE

NEW Louth boss Wayne Kier­ans will take charge of his first full train­ing ses­sion this week af­ter putting the fin­ish­ing touches to a 38-man squad.

The panel will have to be trimmed fur­ther ahead of the O’Byrne Cup in De­cem­ber, but for now the new Reds supremo is look­ing for­ward to ‘get­ting out on the pitch’.

‘It’s been an in­tense few weeks,’ he re­vealed. ‘We didn’t hold large -scale tri­als, but what we did was in­vite around 18-20 play­ers in for three fairly in­ten­sive train­ing ses­sions and from that we came up with about 12 guys who will join up with about 20-22 from last year’s panel. So we’ve a squad of 38, but long-term in­juries Casey Byrne and Conor Grimes would be in­cluded in that,’ he said.

Kier­ans also re­vealed that the group that took part in in­for­mal tri­als in­cluded a number of play­ers who ex­iled them­selves un­der former boss Pete Mc­Grath and he was de­lighted with the re­sponse.

‘I wanted to give cer­tain guys a route back into the set-up and we felt that was the best way to achieve it. For ex­am­ple I wanted Conell McKeever back in the squad and thank­fully he to­tally em­braced the process and he’s back in now.

‘I have to say all the lads that we asked to go through that process re­ally gave it ev­ery­thing and they are back in the squad on merit.’

With the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tions of Pa­trick Reilly (trav­el­ling) and Paraic Smith (work com­mitt­ments), Kier­ans feels he is pretty much at full strength, al­though St Pa­trick’s at­tacker Eoin O’Con­nor is still abroad and Ciaran Byrne (bro­ken an­kle) and Conor Grimes (cru­ci­ate) will be out for the forsee­able fu­ture.

De­spite his dev­as­tat­ing in­jury, Kier­ans in­sists Byrne’s re­turn will be a mas­sive boost to the county.

‘It was a big blow to him per­son­ally we’d love to have him back straight away but he’s go­ing to be a huge ad­di­tion to Louth foot­ball go­ing for­ward. This has just de­layed it a bit, but you can be sure Ciaran will be work­ing hard. He even con­tacted us to ask for an up­per body pro­gramme he can work on from our fit­ness coach Gra­ham Byrne, so that’s a mea­sure of the lad.’

Former Dun­dalk trainer Byrne will be a key fig­ure un­der Kier­ans’ and he will be very heav­ily in­volved over the next few weeks.

‘We have a train­ing plan set out that takes us up to the start of the Na­tional League and as you can imag­ine it will be in­tense. I met Gra­ham when he was in­volved at the start of last sea­son and he made a big im­pres­sion on the play­ers. He’ll be our fit­ness coach but he’ll also work on nu­tri­tion and bits of strength and con­di­tion­ing. ‘

Kier­ans is still ex­pected to add an­other se­lec­tor to join Liam Kelle­her and Cathal Mur­ray on his back­room team, but that was put on the long fin­ger as he con­cen­trated on putting a panel to­gether.

‘We didn’t even make con­tact with any­one but we’ll see how we go over the next few weeks and make a de­ci­sion on it then,’ he added.

Louth man­ager Wayne Kier­ans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.