Bruen hoping to wake sleeping giant!

Castlerea manager Dara Bruen is hoping to lead his team to success against Éire Óg. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

The Castlerea St Kevin’s manager is Dara Bruen, a man with a wealth of coaching experience at club and county level and a Castlerea club legend. He told the Roscommon People that the aim in the club at the start of the year was to progress in league and championship.

“The plan at the start of the year was to get to the league final. That was our big goal and we did that. After nine league games we had qualified for the final and when we did that we switched our focus to the championship”.

Dara says that he is very happy with the form of the team so far this year. “We have played well and we are unbeaten in the championship and now we are in the final. We were good in our group. We were in the toughest group of all, and three of the four teams in our group went to the semi-finals. We played really well in those group games.

“In the quarter-final and semi-final there was a lot of talk about us being on the easy side of the draw, but as you well know, when you play St Brigid’s and Padraig Pearses there is nothing easy. That Pearses team we played in the semi-final were junior champions last year and U-20 champions last year. Five or six of those Pearses players will start on their senior team next year. We were very lucky to squeeze through in the end but we kept going and were rewarded”.

The Castlerea manager recognises the threat that will be offered by Éire Óg in Sunday’s final. “Éire Óg are back in the final after last year and remember that with 10 minutes to go in that final it was there for them to win it and they were unlucky not to do so. They have come together well again this year and Pat (Doorey) has done a great job. They are very organised, they are strong and mobile and we will have to be at our best to be in the game with 10 or 15 minutes to go”.

Castlerea St Kevin’s is a sleeping giant of Roscommon football and their manager says that they will have to earn their place if they are to get back to the top table. “Things are going well in the club now thankfully. They are starting to turn in the right way. We have had three underage teams in county finals recently and we (the club’s most senior team) are there too. So the aim is to get back up to senior whenever that happens. The structures are there to do that”.

Dara says that the Castlerea players have made a huge effort this year. “We started training on the 13th of January. We had 31 lads that night and we have never had less than that all year. There has been a massive commitment from the players, massive commitment and backing from the club too. Anything we looked for this year there was no problem at all, and we are definitely moving forward”.

Dara says that the aim was to make Castlerea competitive on the field of play and that is now a reality. “We are going to embrace this final and look forward to it. There are some lads playing football for this club for 14 or 15 years and this is their first major final. We are hoping that we will be there or thereabouts in the final and give a good account of ourselves and see where that takes us” he concluded.