Fingal chief keeps eye on big picture
Kennedy's focus on is quality rather than success
IT'S a sight to lift his heart. Kids with hurls in their hands in deepest North County Dublin.
Mick Kennedy is the manager of the Fingal hurlers. It's a role he cherishes deeply.
He looks into his golden sliotar and predicts a rich hurling harvest for the locality.
"It's not so much about the present. Let's see what will happen in 15 years' time," he muses.
Fingal are in Division 3A of the Allianz National Hurling League. "It's not just about results.
"The whole basis of the Fingal project is to give players the chance to play at the highest level possible.
"It's about coming up against good quality opposition and striving to keep on progressing.
"And we can't lose focus of that. It's all about taking the positives. "If the lads can take a tenth of what they are experiencing back to their clubs, the clubs will benefit.
"It would be great to go out and win the Nicky Rackard, League and Championship, but that is not what it is all about.
"It's a bonus when you have success, but having the opportunity to play at this level is the most important thing.
"The Fingal clubs are putting in huge work. And these lads deserve the chance to play inter-county hurling. And, in turn, the Fingal clubs will improve because of that. That is the whole purpose of the exercise."
Mick is looking forward to the stretch in the evenings. "That will be a big help. It will allow us to really get into a good bit of work. It's been a testing League campaign.
"We shipped a few defeats last year as well, but we ended up getting to the All-Ireland final in Croke Park, and only losing it by a point.
"We love a challenge. When we set out at the start of the season, maintaining our status in Division 3A was our aim. Getting to the final would have been a bonus.
"Many of the lads have already won a League hurling medal. Ok, it would have been nice to win another one.
"But the Championship was always our number one goal. So let's go all guns blazing for the Championship."
And, come the end of it, there could be bonfires blazing all across the North County.