This Sunday, September 10th sees both Castleisland AFC senior sides kicking off their seasons with the first team playing Mastergeeha at home at 11.30am in Castleisland.
By Neil O’Sullivan
The B team will start its campaign away to Camp with the kick off at 2.pm.
The first team will once again be competing in the top division of Kerry Soccer, Denny Premier A. As always this is going to be a very competitive division with five or six teams in the running to be crowned champions.
First Season in Charge
Manager Dan Maunsell will be starting his first season in charge of the A team and has bolstered his squad by adding a number of players from last year’s successful B team.
Last year’s Premier B top scorer, Jonathan Downey will be looking to continue his goal scoring form into Premier A.
He will be joined by other members of the successful B squad including Mike Cahill, Barry Lynch, Daniel Downey and Seán Óg Ó Ciardubháin.
They will be joining experienced players such as Aidan O’Callaghan, Timothy Walsh, Colin McCarthy and Dean Poolman.
This will give Dan a strong squad to pick from with two to three players battling for every position.
Premier A this season will be very tough with some top teams battling it out for the title.
The likes of Dingle have strengthened their squad bringing in players from all over Kerry, the two Killarney sides will once again be in the thick of things with last year’s champions Killarney Athletic looking to retain their title.
Top of Premier A.
Other teams such as Listowel Celtic and Tralee Dynamos will be looking to improve on their form in the last few seasons and get back towards the top of Premier A.
Castleisland will be looking to get off to a strong start after a great turnout and effort during pre-season.
The squad of players available will hopefully see us battling towards the top of the table for the season and finishing in the top two to make the league final.
The B team will be competing in the second division of Kerry Soccer, Denny Premier B. After winning this division last season the team could not be promoted as we already had a team in Premier A.
Rebuild the Squad
New managers, Martin ‘Mazza’ Moriarty and Neil O’Sullivan will be looking to rebuild the squad after more than half the team have moved up to join the A panel.
This provides the opportunity for a new batch of younger players to come through the ranks and nail down a starting spot on a senior team.
Some of last year’s title winning team have been retained and will form the spine of the team. Players like: Martin Hewitt, Ger Byrne, Shane O’Loughlin, Stephen McCarthy and Eamon McLoughlin will be joined by younger players such as Ethan Brosnan and Darren Maunsel as they look to retain the Premier B title and remain competitive in the division.
Quality of Teams
This will be an extremely difficult task with the quality of teams contesting Premier B this season. The favourites, Tralee Celtic have come up from Division 1A and added some very experienced players to their squad including a number of ex Tralee Dynamos players. Other teams will be fighting it out at the top including: Killorglin; Ratoo Rovers; Mitchels Avenue and Camp.
It’s sure to be another exciting and hopefully successful season for the senior sides this year.
We hope to see new faces up at the field during the year for home games starting with Mastergeeha this Sunday at 11.30am.
Entry is free to all home games and fixtures will be posted on the Castleisland AFC Facebook page at the beginning of every week.
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