A 15-point win should please most managers at any time of the year, never mind such a victory from your season opener, writes John Ryan.
But for Kildare senior hurling manager Willie Sunderland, pictured, he has bigger worries on his mind other than the size of the win his side earned over Louth in Darver last Sunday.
Just a matter of weeks ago Sunderland and his backroom team had stepped down from their respective managerial positions in protests against the County Board’s plan to reduce their seasonal budget. After lengthy discussions amongst the powers-that-be Sunderland and Co were enticed back but the loss of valuable training time has, according to the Wexford native, left the Lilywhites in a precarious position ahead of their Division 2A league campaign.
“I’d say we are light years behind where we want to be at this stage of the year,” admitted Sunderland.
“I have said this before that I don’t want to rake over old coals but the fact of the matter is that if you are not prepared and prepared properly to play at the level that you are at then we potentially could be in trouble…
“Unfortunately that is only our third game and I reckon we should be up around nine or ten at this stage in order to be where we want to be.
“But we can’t turn around and start moaning about out circumstances because at this stage we have to just get on with things and next week will be an even sterner test with Derry – no disrespect to Louth – and after that maybe play a final the following week. That, all going to plan, should bring us closer to where we want to be…
“You can’t play catch-up; you can work guys to a certain degree but you just can’t play catch-up in this game – we have to just make sure that they are fresh and well for the game next week...”
“But there is no point in being concerned at this time because what is is and I can’t change that. Of course I am concerned personally but at the end of the day all we can do is motor along and try overcome whatever obstacles lie ahead. Looking back isn’t going to help, so all we can do is look forward.”