Tim O’Halloran, UCC Demons Head Coach:
First off it is an honor to lead this fine club at the national league stage. Demons have been at the top and deserve to be there going forward. I will do everything in my power so this fine tradition continues. Our First game is Friday night in the Mardyke and we hope you can all get down to support the lads, Shane McCarthy joins me as assistant and he is really enjoying the coaching side of things in his first year of retirement while Pat Keane stays on as team manager.
After another hugely successful season for the team, an emphasis was put on defense back at the start of pre-season training in July. Again the facilities and staff in the Mardyke arena have been top notch in ensuring the lads are in peak condition. With 4 new players joining last year’s core, there is a team with lots of depth which will be needed. Guys have really responded well , as with the loss of Colin and Niall O’Reilly, Jack O’Mahony, Darragh O Hanlon and Lehmon Colbert from last years team guys are hungry for bigger roles.
This year’s team is again lead by captains Ciaran O’Sullivan and Kyle Hosford. Ciaran who in my eyes is the best shooter in the league and Kyle is coming off his best season in national league. Both guys have massive roles to fill this year. Adrian O’Sullivan has really impressed with what should be a larger role this season. Carlton Cuff has worked as hard as he has ever worked pre season and comes in , in the best shape he has been in years. Niall Murphy who has endured a couple of injury plagued seasons is enjoying pre season and is back to his best especially on the defensive end. Roy Downey should also play a much larger role in his second season with the club. Darko Bucan again should see a much larger role this year. Former underage star with the club Liam Carmody has had a couple of knocks pre-season but should be ready to go.
New comers are lead by Jacob Lawson. Coming from the universities of Purdue and then Appalachian state he should be a massive presence defensively and on the boards. Jacob should be a real crowd pleaser with the energy he brings. Next up is Ronan O’Sullivan who returns to Cork from Moycullen. Ronan has settled really well with the lads and brings height and more stretch shooting to the team. Conor Ryan joins from Fr Matthews. Conor will serve his apprenticeship at national league playing against some of the best players in the league in practice. Conor is coming on session by session and should be a future star with the club. Last but not least is last years division one star Shane Buckley. Shane has brought a level of fitness to the team that is pushing everyone even harder. He has played himself right into contention and has been a revelation in pre-season.