It has been an excellent start to life at Doncaster Rovers for former Cork City forward Kieran Sadlier
Sadlier has been eased into the first team since his arrival by Doncaster manager Grant McCann, scoring once in four appearances, three off the bench and one start, in the FA Cup against Oldham.
This weekend, Sadlier faces arguably the biggest test of his embryonic Doncaster career as the League One outfit host Premier League Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
With the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool eliminated and one of Chelsea or Manchester United guaranteed to be dumped out, the competition represents a fantastic chance for a team like Doncaster to have a historic cup run.
Sadlier outlines that he is very much looking forward to hopefully causing an upset and sending Doncaster to the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time in their 140 year history.
“Yeah, it’ll be interesting,” Sadlier told Pundit Arena.
“The stadium is sold out I think it holds 15 thousand. I think we got around 11 and a bit thousand against Oldham and that was quality to play on front of. It’s a weird one because Palace aren’t doing too well in the Premier League so I don’t know what their priorities are like or what team they are going to go for.
“We’ll be well up for it and want to win. I think it’ll be the first time in history we’ll make the quarters if we win, it’s already the first time in a long time that we’ve made the last 16 so it’ll be interesting. I think everyone is looking forward to it.”
The 24-year old also explained that when his side beat Oldham in the fourth round, they were hoping for a Manchester United or a Chelsea in the last 16, but despite not overlooking Palace, he recognises that the goal now is to get as far as they possibly can in the competition.
“The league was our main priority but we want to do well in the cup too. It’s only us and Wimbledon in League One left then I think you’ve got Newport from League Two.
“If we do get through to the last eight hopefully we will get a big tie. We were hoping for a big team in this round but we also want to get as far as possible. There are some big teams out so it’s a weird one this year it does look like some smaller teams will sneak through.”
Sadlier was handed his first start for the club in the fourth round game against Oldham and will be hoping for a starting berth once again at the sold-out Keepmoat on Sunday.
The former Cork man has had a very long season, however, having played extensively for John Caulfield’s side during the last Airtricity League campaign.
Sadlier admitted that the quick turnaround has been physically tough but the key to getting through it is knowing how to “manage yourself better.”
“I’ve never done it before where I’ve gone into a season so quickly after doing a whole season previous.
“I played about 50 games at Cork last season and the intensity was quite high with the way we trained and stuff. I hardly sat out and was never injured so I played near enough every game.
“It is tough. You don’t realise how tough it is until you stop and then you start again so quickly. I’ve never been one to pick up injuries but I’ve had one or two since I’ve been here and I don’t think anything would have stopped that to be honest.
“It’s tough but you have to manage yourself better. Maybe not do as much gym work and knowing your own body which is still something I’m learning.”