Keely's Kildare County host Bray in friendly

Kildare County manager Dermot Keely will finally get his teeth into the meaty end of managing the Eircom League's newest club when the Thoroughbreds play a friendly against Bray Wanderers in Castledermot on Saturday at 7pm.

After weeks of preparing the squad for the campaign ahead, Keely will get his first inkling as to the balance of his side when they face the 1999 FAI Cup winners at Castlevilla's ground.

"Bray are a Premier Division side with plenty of talent and experience so it will be a big test for our lads in their first run out," said the Kildare boss.

Amongst the Wanderers squad is Jason Byrne, first cousin of Ireland star Robbie Keane and one of the most exciting talents in the country in his own right.

Keely is realistic about his squad's chances of gelling straight away: "This is a completely new team and it will take time to get it right, this game is about preparing for our championship campaign.

"It is nice to be playing in Castledermot too, as it gives people in that area of the county the chance to see the team - we do want it to be something for the whole of Kildare and getting around the county is important."

The Thoroughbreds' second friendly will be at Kildare Town on Tuesday, June 18, when they face Stephen Kenny's highly regarded Bohemians.

Work continues apace at Station Road, Newbridge, in readiness for the club's first competitive game against Limerick on Saturday, July 6.

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