By Jack Murray
Keadue Rovers already look comfortable back in the top flight of the Donegal league after they commenced the competition with a 2-2 draw away to title holders, Kildrum Tigers.
Keadue made their long awaited return to the Brian McCormick Sports & Leisure Premier Division after an impressive run in the First Division last year. Central to that were the consistent performances of star player, Cory Gallagher.
Gallagher was the man of the hour back in April when his headed effort in the 76th minute against Raphoe wrapped up a 3-2 victory and secured his side’s promotion.
His playmaking style and prowess in front of goals was been widely recognised and drew attention from other clubs. He had been flirting with a move to Ulster Senior League over the summer, following interest from Fanad United – and lined out for a couple of games in the red and black – but he chose to remain with his club of thirteen years and to give his all to assist his side’s premier division campaign.
“I wanted to play with Keadue for another year in the Premier Division,” he said, “I played at that level years ago but it’s good to get back after so long and having fought so hard to get back up again.”
His impact at that level became immediately apparent as he netted against the top junior team in the Donegal League last week. Speaking after the game, he acknowledged that it was a good result, but indicative of Keadue’s ambitions this year, he said the result could have been better.
“Before the game we would have bitten your hand off to come back from Kildrum with a draw. We conceded two bad goals though which we really shouldn’t have. After the game we felt we probably could have come out better but a draw was still a good result.”
This, he says, shows that Keadue Rovers will fear no one in the league and they’ll be taking the game to anyone they face.
He points too, to their 3-2 victory over Kilmacrennan in the Brian McCormick Cup a fortnight ago. “Kilmacrennan are one of the best teams in the league, along with Milford,” he said, “After beating them and drawing with Kildrum, we’re feeling confident and know that we can compete with the best at this level.”
He said morale is extremely high at Keadue at present and everyone is fighting for their place, “We have twenty-five lads turning up to training each week now,” he said, “That would normally be unheard of at Keadue. We also have some good young players on board. Caolan Boyle, Danny McGlynn and Aidan McHugh have all rejoined us after playing underage with Derry City. They really bolster the squad with a good mix of youth and experience.”
He also points to Patrick Bonnar who has returned to the club from Australia as an example of some of that added experience the side needs.
Further, there doesn’t seem to be many players lost to gaelic this year and the good start can only help encourage players to stick with the soccer in what could be a good year for the club.
They’ll now have a break from the league on Sunday though as they’re host Cranford in the FAI Junior Cup. Cranford will provide an unknown test as last year’s Division 2 champions have also started their league campaign well with a 1-0 away win to Drumkeen United last week.
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