Colin Kelly: 'There is a feel good factor'
By Cian O'Connell
Two successive Allianz Football League promotions ensures a 'feel good factor' surrounds Louth presently. Making a Leinster Championship impact, though, is what Colin Kelly wants to achieve in 2017.
Sunday's Parnell Park encounter against Wicklow promises to be an interesting encounter, but the unavailability of two key players, Andy McDonnell and Derek Maguire, is a significant blow.
"We've a couple of lads that are out for the Wicklow match, Andy McDonnell and Derek Maguire, who would be big, big players for us," Kelly admits. "But overall there's a feel good factor about the place and lads are working really hard so we'd be in a good enough place.
"Derek's gone to America and Andy had an operation on his knee last week so he's out for four to six weeks. Derek will be gone for the whole summer.
"Andy played really well throughout the League and he was a big plus. We lost him for a couple of mid League matches, but we had him back for the promotion game which was a big, big plus. To lose him again is a huge blow.
"He had a cartilage operation so it's nothing significantly bad, but it's a four to six or eight week job so hopefully if we can get a few results in the summer he'll be back with us before the end."
Momentum has been generated by an evolving Louth outfit, who will compete at Division Two level again next year. The emergence of promising youngsters such as Ryan Burns alongside Jim McEnaney bodes well for the future.
"They're very talented lads and they've a huge skillset," Kelly admits.
"They're open to improvement, they're open to trying things and they work really hard so they're a clever bunch and they're easy to deal with.
"There's more than the two lads, Paraic Smith has been exceptional throughout the League and Eoin O'Connor was exceptional come the end of it so there's been a real feel good factor about the place and they're easy lads to work with.
"They'd be my type of player, they're expressive, good on the ball and quick so they're good lads to be coaching."