IT’S do or die time for the Lilies on Saturday evening when they take on Laois in O’Moore Park in round two of the All Ireland qualifiers.
Having controversially went down to the Dubs in the Leinster Championship semi final Kildare now get one last bite of the proverbial cherry.
Boss Kieran McGeeney won’t name his team until later in the week, however it is expected Daryl Flynn will make a return to action.
The Moorefield midfielder has been out of action since May with an ankle injury but is likely to feature at some stage in Portlaoise.
Flynn could well partner Johnny Doyle in the middle and Hugh Lynch could miss out after a below par performance in the middle against Dublin.
Competition for places in the Kildare team is rife and in the forward line both Rob Kelly and Tomas O’Connor are pushing hard for starts.
Sarsfields’ Alan Smith and indeed Ronan Sweeney could be the men to miss out in favour of the aforementioned two.
At the back management are sweating on the fitness of Emmet Bolton who is suffering from a hamstring problem and he remains the biggest injury worry ahead of the local derby clash in Portlaoise.
Eamonn Callaghan also didn’t train last week but he, according to selector Niall Carew, is fit for battle.
Celbridge’s Ollie Lyons, who was forced off against the Dubs with a shoulder injury, is fit and if Bolton doesn’t make it both Lyons and Andrew McLoughlin could start.
Management have also not ruled out an appearance from Mikey Conway, who will line out for the Kildare juniors in the Leinster final against Cavan tomorrow (Wednesday) night.
Kildare have put the disappointment of the Dublin defeat behind them and Niall Carew says the team now have their eyes on the bigger prize.
“We would have loved to win a Leinster but every team wants to win an All Ireland. If someone gave us the option of ten Leinster titles or one All Ireland we’d take the latter every time,” admitted the St Kevin’s club man.
Meanwhile, All Star Peter Kelly is progressing very well since his knee operation earlier this year.
The Two Mile House defender has began running again and he is well on course to return to action next year.
“Thankfully Peter has had no set backs and he is progressing well,” Carew told the Leinster Leader.