It’s Westport’s to lose — Kilkelly

Happy where we are: Westport United’s manager Padraig Burns is happy with his sides position on top of the Super League as the mid -season break comes in, but is still taking it one game at a time.
Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

Happy where we are: Westport United’s manager Padraig Burns is happy with his sides position on top of the Super League as the mid -season break comes in, but is still taking it one game at a time. Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

After this weekend’s round of games in the Mayo league the corner flags and nets can be put away for a couple off weeks around the county as the Mayo League takes its mid-season break. In the Super League most sides will have played at least 15 games, leaving three to play after the break and Castlebar Celtic manager Declan Kilkelly reckons that the league is Westport’s to lose, but he can’t see them doing that. “I knew it was always going to be hard coming in mid-season, but I’m delighted to be back with the club and in the game. It’s been tough though because it’s been all go since then. We’ve had a good few weeks where we’ve been playing Thursday and Saturday or Sunday, that’s not leaving you much time to do anything on the training field. We’re still fighting for the league, but realistically you have to say it’s Westport to lose, they’re top by a point and have two of the bottom three at home in their last three games.”

Westport United’s joint manager Padraig Burns is enjoying the view from the top in his first season back in charge of Westport United and hopes his side can retain the title. “I’m happy with where we are, if you told us at the start of the season that we would be a point ahead with three games to go and it all in our own hands we would have snapped it up. It’s been a good season, very exciting really. If you look at the last few years it’s really been a two horse race, but this year Snugboro really shook things up and you have to give them great credit for that. If you look down the table you only have to see Ballyheane who are in fifth place who have lost only two games all year, there is not a lot between the top four or five sides. Celtic and Ballina Town are as you’d expect there too and are posing a real challenge in the run in to the end.”

Hectic schedules affecting sides

Like Kilkelly and Celtic, Burns knows that his side have been feeling the hectic schedule of games over the last few weeks with a number of games on Thursday’s and again over the weekend, not leaving much time for a turn around for their players. But there are still points to be got and Burns is not counting his chickens yet. “We have 12 points to play for and we have to go at it one game at a time and take it like that, you can’t be looking three games ahead because that’s where you can get caught and there are a couple of sides just behind us.”

Kilkelly is looking towards the future and after the domestic season is over to stamp his authority on the side and is hoping to have his side in tipp top shape for the FAI and Connacht Cup campaigns. “We have a lot of work still to do, if you look at however many games we’ve played since I came in, we haven’t been able to put out the same side. That’s down to injury, lads being cup tied and generally tired. It’s a big ask to have lads rushing down for games on a Thursday evening and out again on Saturday. When we’ve the league finished off we’ll be then able to get down to the hard work on the training field and build up the fitness to what I want to see.”

 

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