Doyle: Trophies the gauge of progress

EXPERIENCED forward John Doyle has admitted that progress for Kildare will be measured by how much silverware they manage to collect.

Prolific attacker Doyle has contributed to the general upward turn in the county’s fortunes since Kieran McGeeney took over as manager ahead of the 2008 campaign.

Their progress peaked with last year’s narrow All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Down and, according to Doyle, going one better in 2011 means actually winning one of the two titles on offer.

They begin their Leinster championship assault on Sunday with a clash against Wicklow and anything less than a victory to keep them on track for provincial honours will be a major setback.

“Every team in the country goes out and will judge their year on what they have to show for it,” said Doyle. “We’re four years with this management team and we have nothing to show for it — you can’t get any clearer than that.

“It’s going to be tough again. You try to win every competition that you are involved in. Our next competition is the Leinster championship. We’re no different than any other team — that’s our goal, to win the Leinster championship.

“We’ll stand here at the end of the year and we’ll be judged on what we have to show for it and if we have nothing to show for it then it’s not a good year. It’s plain and simple.”

Wicklow manager and former Kildare boss Mick O’Dwyer is sure to relish their underdogs status ahead of Sunday’s Portlaoise encounter and the opportunity to repeat their 0-13 to 0-9 victory of three summers ago. “I expect it tight and tough, typical Championship football,” predicted Doyle. “We’re just going to have to be at the top of our game to beat them and even at that it will be a tight affair.”


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