Cavan's Killian Clarke eyes Dublin scalp in league opener

Killian Clarke. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/Andrew Paton

Cavan defender Killian Clarke says a shock opening round league win over All-Ireland champions Dublin would be the perfect way to get their season up and running.

The former All-Star nominee believes Cavan are more than capable of delivering that win when the sides clash at Breffni Park in February.

Cavan are back in the top division this season and the 23-year-old says they need to make a mark early in the year.

Cavan begin their Dr McKenna Cup campaign against Tyrone at Breffni Park on Sunday week.

Under new manager Mattie McGleenan, Clarke knows it is essential to hit the ground running, and build momentum prior to their league campaign and clash with the reigning All-Ireland champions.

“In the Dr McKenna Cup we have a hard group, with Jordanstown, Tyrone, and Donegal,” said Shercock clubman Clarke.

“It will be good, stiff competition before the league but hopefully it goes well. We will have a good chance to run out a few new boys.

“Mattie is in there and he is after bringing in a few young lads. But it should be interesting and I’m looking forward to it.

“We have a great opportunity against the Dubs on the first day. We are looking forward to it, everyone in Cavan is looking forward to it. It would definitely be a nice scalp to take so fingers crossed we can do that.”

With the new mark ruling coming into play from this weekend, it looks set to have an impact on teams that attempt to slow the game down.

Cavan are one of the more free-scoring teams in Ulster football and Clarke, who can operate at full-back or midfield, says it won’t disrupt the flow of his team.

“It probably won’t make too much difference for a full-back. Hopefully, the ball will go a bit longer, you might get more of a rest and not that many short balls will be kicked to you.

“It’s a good thing because it’s a great sight, seeing a guy going up and fielding a ball five yards ahead of everyone, which you don’t see anymore. It would be good to see a few fielders coming into play.

“We have a really good goalkeeper in Raymond Galligan and he is comfortable with whatever way he wants to kick the ball. We have big men out around the middle too, like Gearoid McKiernan and Michael Argue.

“It won’t affect us any more than anyone else but it should be interesting. It gives us another option.”


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