Time for The Lilies to lose the cuckoo way of life    

Time for The Lilies to lose the cuckoo way of life    

WHEN it comes to the Allianz Football League, the last number of years, 'home-wise' for Kildare footballers, have been something akin to a cuckoo's way of living; no permanent residence; a different home each year, having spent time in Division 2 and Division 3 since being demoted from Division 1 back in 2014 under manager Jason Ryan.

During these years The Lilies have visited counties, many for the first time, which in itself was certainly an experience, to say the least.

Kildare must have a record few other counties can match; having played League football in five different divisions in the last five years; since back-to-back seasons in Division 1 in 2013 and 2014.

That 2014 season was Kildare's last time in Division 1, prior to this year; a season when they finished second from the bottom, with Westmeath holding up the table.

Seven games in 2014, saw The Lilies record just two victories, incredibly their very first game, when they defeated Mayo by a point (2-19 to 2-18) and their last game when defeating bottom of the table Westmeath (1-22 to 0-9).

In between they lost to Cork by a single point (0-16 to 1-12) and to Tyrone by a similar margin (3-16 to 1-21), in a game that still brings back nightmares.

With the points all but in the bag that day in St Conleth's and many of the home supporters already resting an elbow on the counter across the road, when late concessions saw Tyrone perform an act of daylight robbery that even had Tyrone manager, Mickey Harte, close to apologising.

And to make it even worse, it wasn't the first time The Red Hand boys had ambushed Kildare in such circumstances.

Other games in that 2014 campaign saw Dublin prove too strong (again) winning 1-22 to 1-12; while Kerry had six points to spare (2-15 to 0-15) with Derry coming out on top 2-17 to 3-9.

Incidentally Dublin went on to capture the Division 1 title in 2014 (defeating Derry in the final), making it back-to-back league titles, and then going on to win it again in 2015 and 2016 before losing out to Kerry last season in one of the best games of the year, that being the only game Dublin have lost, league or championship, since 2014.

So it's not today or yesterday that Dublin's dominance began; not by a long shot.

So, just like the cuckoo, The Lilies have been nesting in different locations for the past few seasons from Division 1 in 2014; Division 2 in 2015; Division 3 in 2016; Division 2 in 2017 before returning from whence they came in 2014, back to the top table of Division 1 this season.

Let's hope that come 2019, Kildare, unlike the cuckoo, will remain in the same 'nest' not only for that season but a few more seasons besides.