New Kildare manager Glenn Ryan may have to plan without explosive Naas forward Darragh Kirwan for the early stages of the Allianz Football League after the youngster was forced to miss the county champions’ AIB Leinster Club Final defeat to Kilmacud Crokes this evening.
Naas player-manager Eoin Doyle rued the loss of Kirwan, Alex Beirne and Paul McDermott from an attack which only registered seven points, all in the opening half, in succumbing to the Dublin champions in Croke Park.
Afterwards he explained Kirwan’s absence as being due to a calf muscle tear and with the county team’s Division 1 campaign due to start against Kerry in three week’s time it seems unlikely the starlet who made such an impact under Jack O’Connor will be available to face his former manager.
Beirne is also a major doubt and is still struggling with his long-term hamstring injury according to Doyle after tonight’s game.
Asked whether he will get a break before re-joining the county panel, Doyle, who stepped in as player-manager when Paul Kelly exited before the county semi-final, indicated that all of the team would like a break at this stage but that it would be “down to management”.
The Ryan era started with a convincing eleven point (0-19 to 0-8) win over a second-string Westmeath in their opening O’Byrne Cup Group C encounter in Newbridge, with debutant Paddy Woodgate (6) and Jimmy Hyland (7) scoring thirteen points between them in a game that lacked any real cut-and-thrust.