Kil­mac’s King eyes crown

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

IT’S all about the fu­ture in Kil­macanogue. Ev­ery­thing is aimed at build­ing, grow­ing, thriv­ing. They opened a won­der­ful new club­house last year that needs to be seen to be be­lieved.

There’s a huge buzz around the small vil­lage, the fu­ture looks bright, the present is bright, and a win on Sun­day would drive that mo­men­tum on to a new level, it would make all those gar­gan­tuan ef­forts at un­der­age seem paid back, all the vol­un­teers and proud club peo­ple would be paid back in spades for all their work and time and be­lief.

Send­ing the team out to bat­tle is Kil­mac’s own Mark King who wore the jer­sey with pride and dis­tinc­tion for many years. Mark cred­its the course of the suc­cess not only to win­ning the Ju­nior ‘A’ cham­pi­onship in 2015 but in keep­ing the core group of young play­ers to­gether be­cause in times past they tended to make a break­through and then lose a clutch of tal­ent to re­tire­ment or em­i­gra­tion. Not this time.

‘Get­ting over the line even­tu­ally, we were in four Ju­nior ‘A’ fi­nals in five years, won it in 2015, there seemed to be a lit­tle bit of a lack of be­lief, and suc­cess breeds suc­cess, but, like, the con­fi­dence, that’s helped, and keep­ing the group to­gether af­ter that was a huge help.

‘with this group, we kept the core of the group that were com­ing. A lot of them were rel­a­tively young in 2015, they’re hun­gry, they want suc­cess. We had some dis­ap­point­ing days the pre­vi­ous years, not get­ting over the line in the fi­nal. They pro­gressed. Last year we got to the semi-fi­nal opf the In­ter­me­di­ate and beaten by Ti­na­hely. Go­ing back to the game, four min­utes be­fore half-time there was very lit­tle in that game, and then Ti­na­hely got two goals, got a goal and a goal from the kick-out.

‘We cer­tainly be­lieve in this group. There’s been a lot put into them and a lot ex­pected of them and they’re re­spond­ing to that now. In the his­tory of the club we haven’t had as many lads around the right age. The old­est is 30.

‘I think that the club as a whole has bought into this and want to be suc­cess­ful. If you look at where we’re sit­ting, it re­ally is the epi­cen­tre of the com­mu­nity in Kil­macanogue. There’s a lot of work be­ing done at ju­ve­nile and there are lots of peo­ple who wouldn’t tra­di­tion­ally have been in­volved in foot­ball.

‘There’s a hunger there. I have to com­mend the at­ti­tude of the play­ers, they lis­ten, they ab­sorb, they want to do what it takes to be suc­cess­ful,’ he said.

Mark King un­der­stands what Sun­day means to Kil­macanogue. He knows all too well that op­por­tu­ni­ties like these don’t come around ev­ery day.

‘This is a huge op­por­tu­nity, for them and the club and the vil­lage, be­cause we’ve never, ok, 60 years ago, but not in most of our liv­ing mem­o­ries. It’s vi­tal,’ he said.

Kil­mac’s Niall Mel­don (left) is one of sev­eral huge play­ers for his side this Sun­day.

Peadar Smyth, Mark King and Der­mot Mur­phy ahead of the IFC fi­nal this week­end.

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