'We show a lot of fight and we have a lot of qualities' - Cabo keeper Michael Kelly raring to go ahead of the First Division restart

Thu, Jul 30 2020

Michael Kelly during his previous stint with Cabinteely Credit: Eoin Smith (ETPhotos)

Cabinteely goalkeeper Michael Kelly is raring to go as the Green and White’s sit pretty at the top of the First Division table after a quick start to the season.

Cabo won their opening three games of the season, scoring wins over Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and Shamrock Rovers II.

Kelly – who had only just returned to the club after a spell away – could not have asked for a better start back in the Green and White colours.

“We’re top of the league at the moment and the only thing we can do is keep doing what we were doing beforehand. Hopefully that will bring us to our goals at the end of the season,” the Kildare native told extratime.com.

“It has been a long break over the last few months so it’s good to get the league back going. There’s only so much you can do on your own at home without missing it too much so it’s good we’re here now.”

While away from the League of Ireland scene during the cessation of football activities – Kelly was forced to make temporary arrangements to keep on top of his goalkeeping sessions.

“I’m lucky enough with where I live down the country, so I went down to a field near my house where there were goalposts left.

“I dug them out of the ground and put them in my back garden and made one there with my dad. I got my dad, mum, and girlfriend to serve the ball up to me.

“I had a friend who is a goalkeeping coach and my brother do stuff with me, so I was lucky enough. I got to keep ticking over with goalkeeping sessions.”

He continued: “It’s all about getting yourself going again and getting your eye in and getting back to where we were.

“There wasn’t much fitness work to be doing and most of the lads kept on top of their fitness work. It kept us ticking over the off-season, but it was all about getting back to where we were.”

Over the years, Cabo have often managed to exceed outside expectations placed on the group – none more so than last season.

Despite many tipping Pat Devlin’s side for a league finish towards the bottom half of the table, Cabo found themselves come 4th in the table, after mounting an incredible promotion hunt.

Devlin’s charges are still one of the youngest in the division, and Kelly noted that they pay little heed to what others think of them.

“For ourselves in the squad we always focus on us,” he admits. “We don’t try and think of what people say outside of that because we can’t effect what people say or think. That’s their own opinion and they’re entitled to that.

“I think we’re unfairly treated; I think people write us off far too easily. We were written off at the start of the season – and I know it’s only three games old, (but still).

“I think we show a lot of fight and we have a lot of qualities. When we do get the ball down, we can play. I do think we are treated unfairly but slowly and surely we’re proving people wrong every season.”

Cabinteely restart their 2020 First Division campaign with a trip away to Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.

The trip to the Dyke Road venue will be Cabo’s first game back of course in a month long period where they could play eight games in as few as 31 days. 

“We’ll just have to manage the bodies and training a little bit differently,” the 24-year-old keeper said.

“It’s the same as usual for us. We work hard and we’re used to it. We’ve done all the hard work and we’re ready to go. 

“It’s always going to be a tough game against Galway. Every time I’ve played there it has been tough, and it will be more so with what they’re trying to build there.

“It’ll be a tough game, but we just have to focus on ourselves and we can’t look at anything outside of ourselves.

“The only way we can win the game is by sticking to our own game plan and sticking to what the lads tells us to do.”