After a year competing at senior level, Carrickcruppen are back in the Intermediate Championship this season.
Barry Flynn’s side were crowned IFC winners in 2021, beating Culloville in the final, but found the promotion tough.
They experienced football at the top tier but were relegated from Division 1B last year. ‘Cruppen defender Oisin O’Hare is looking forward to another challenging IFC campaign.
“It’s absolutely brilliant just to be able to get more games in the championship,” said O’Hare of the round robin format. “I think ‘Cruppen enjoyed it the last time we played in it.
“It’s just more championship game time and more competitive championship fixtures, it’s super.
“We enjoyed the league, there were some really good competitive games. Culloville and Cullyhanna, the likes of those were brilliant fixtures.
“There was no consistency at all. There were some weekends where you thought teams were a cert to beat another team, but it went on its head. Anybody could really beat anybody.
“It’s definitely a really tough championship with those top sides that have come down to Intermediate and Culloville as well.”
The relegation was hard to take but it was a learning curve for the youngsters of Carrickcruppen.
“Don’t get me wrong it was horrible to be relegated but we gained a lot of experience from playing at senior level against top sides,” added O’Hare.
“We have a really young team. A lot of these boys are in round 22 and 23 so it’s something that we as a club are quite proud of as well.”
This year, they had 2021 Club All-Star goalkeeper Blaine Hughes to call on for the entire season and his experience has been key inside the dressing room.
“He played out the field for a couple of games and it’s absolutely brilliant to have Blaine back with his experience.
“That’s something that he loves doing (coming out the field) and has been doing the past number of years.
“He’s a massive influence coming up the pitch and kicking 45 as well.” Carrickcruppen begin their campaign an away clash against Forkhill this weekend.