“It’s not ideal but that’s the nature of junior soccer,” said Mayo manager Declan Kilkelly of his side’s preparation for tomorrow’s quarter final of the Oscar Traynor Cup. Mayo only got back to group training this week after their win over the Galway League in the last round of the group stages of the competition in December, due to the Christmas break and FAI Junior Cup action. Tomorrow they will make the trip to Dublin to take on the United Churches League in the quarter final of the premier tournament for county sides in junior soccer looking to book a place in the final four of the competition.
But Kilkelly has a few headaches ahead of the game with Dessie O’Malley (Westport United ) definitely out, while Ballina Town marksman Mick Duffy is a long term absentee due to injury. Castlebar Celtic’s Andy Neary is also a major doubt in the lead up to the game and Kilkelly is resigned to the fact he will be more than likely with out him. But it’s not all doom and gloom for Mayo who see the return of Westport United duo Danny Scahill and Dave Cameron, and Castlebar Celtic’s Stevie Ryan who all missed the do or die clash with the Galway League last time around.
Injury blows cause concern
“It’s a blow to be missing the lads, but that’s all part of the game, getting the three lads back who missed the Galway game is a big boost. But it will be tomorrow morning before I know what team I’ll pick for the game. We will only have had the two training sessions as a group after the Galway game, so I have to think hard about this.”
Kilkelly is honest when admitting that he doesn’t know much about tomorrow’s opponents. “I don’t know much to be telling the truth, but they must be a decent side to have got this far in the competition. But that is the nature of this competition, I’m sure that they don’t know too much about us either. If we go out there and don’t concede a goal, it’ll take penalties to beat us so we have to keep our heads at the back right from the off. I’ve been speaking to the lads and they all seem really up for it and they’re all used to playing in cup football, and from now on that’s the way this competition is, there’s no room for slip ups.”