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'Losing those guys hurts us in the changing room' - Kildare boss Jason Ryan

Ryan says Kildare are no closer to knowing their strongest team but are new leaders beginning to emerge?

Jason Ryan is looking for the positives from yesterday's win.
Jason Ryan is looking for the positives from yesterday's win.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

KILDARE’S FIFTEEN POINT victory over Louth yesterday has left manager Jason Ryan still very much unsure over his strongest team.

Ryan lost a number of high profile players this year to retirement, coupled with an injury pile on; meaning up to recently Kildare have struggled to find a settled fifteen.

He says that after yesterday’s win he is still no closer to picking his best team, but he is happy with the progress of the youngsters he’s preparing to lead the team in the future.

As Ryan looks for new leaders in the Lilywhites’ dressing room, he says the scars remain over the losses of the likes of John Doyle, Dermot Early, Morgan O’Flaherty and Ronan Sweeney.

“There’s an element of pressure in that you don’t know what’s going on in the players’ heads with regard to past history with Louth. We’d a tough game against Louth last year and since then we lost Johnny and Daniel Flynn, Morgan and Ronan Sweeney, and losing those guys hurts us in the changing rooms more than anyone outside the camp would realise.”

“So we’re now trying to put responsibility on younger fellas so there was an element of seeing how that’s going to go; and we’re happy.”

Mick Fanning with Padraig Fogarty Ryan says Padraig Fogarty has been practicing the frees with John Doyle. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ryan was hugely impressed with the inside line of Padraig Fogarty, Paddy Brophy and Niall Kelly in managing a combined nine points against Louth.

“They’re talented young players,” he says. “We’d like to think that they can cause a lot of teams problems, but they’ve got to get quality ball.

“That full-forward line had an average age of 20, so we’re putting responsibility on young guys who maybe haven’t had it before.”

Fogarty managed two of his points from set pieces, something Ryan explained he’s been getting some expert help on.

“Podge didn’t miss any frees, and it’s good for them it’s their first experience of hitting frees in Croke park. His first free was good and his second free from out on right hand side was excellent and I thought that was great for his confidence.

“He’s probably getting a bit of advice from a certain Johnny Doyle, so I suppose it’s good to be related to him.”

The Kildare team huddle before the game Jason Ryan says his team won't be undercooked for Meath or Carlow. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

“The expectation in Kildare is pretty mental but unjustified as not a lot has changed except that we’ve won a game.”

While Kildare go in to a Leinster semi final possibly untested and without a firm grasp on what their strongest team is, Ryan is adamant that Sunday’s game will not hold back his team.

“Maybe Carlow or Meath will be under cooked for us? We’ve three weeks of training now. You hear an awful from teams about how hard training is, so if you have a competitive bunch of lads then in-house they bring that intensity regardless of who you’re playing against.

“Like Dublin have managed over the last ten years, they could go out and beat the living daylights out of a team in the Leinster championship and it wouldn’t really matter to them, but we believe that today in our heads out on the field it was no walk in the park.”

‘I’d prefer playing them in Newbridge’ – Eamonn Callaghan on Dublin’s Croke Park advantage

Easy peasy as Kildare march past Louth into Leinster semis

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