Kilmacud Crokes are rounding off their preparations for Saturday’s Go-Ahead Dublin Senior Hurling Club Championship Final against Na Fianna.
It’s familiar territory for Kilmacud having contested three of the last five deciders however, having come out on the wrong side of all of those results, the team cannot afford to take their experience for granted.
Speaking ahead of the final in Parnell Park, Crokes’ goalkeeper Eddie Gibbons says the team are not focusing on the past.
“I think the hurt still exists for a lot of players. But this year it’s a very new team so a lot of our team wouldn’t have been around back then. I think come Saturday, we’re just going to focus on the game and we’re not going to dwell on past defeats or any of that.
“I don’t think there’s any point. I think it’s just putting our energy in the wrong place to be honest.”
It’s been an interesting personal journey for Gibbons having started in the forwards at underage level before moving between the posts.
“At underage with Crokes I would have started off playing in the forwards”, the 21-year-old explained.
“My first two years with the senior team, I would have played in the forwards also and a bit in midfield. I was kind of brought into goals with school and then from that I would have played on underage Dublin teams in goal and then with Crokes eventually this year.
“I would have played all the way up from U-13s [with Dublin]. Originally I was playing in the forwards and would have transferred into goal then at U-16.”
While his current position hasn’t deterred him from keeping up his shooting practice, Gibbons has no immediate ambitions to move out the field, happy with his current role for the Stillorgan side.
“Yeah I think that’s something that keeps me still in check with it. I still have to go out practising the frees because I’d be taking the long range ones so that’s one of the only things that remains the same as I would have been doing as a kid. Just going down the pitch taking frees and stuff. These ones are a bit further out of I suppose.
“Ah I’m happy enough. I think I’m going decently at the moment so yeah, I’m enjoying it. I think if I wasn’t enjoying it I wouldn’t be playing there so I’m happy to stay there.”
It promises to be a busy weekend for the Gibbons household with three sons in action across the weekend. Eddie, whose father hails from Kilkenny, has three brothers, two of which are set to line out in the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior B Final against Castleknock.
“I’ve three brothers playing with Crokes and two of them are actually playing in the Senior B Final on Sunday so yeah, it’s a big weekend for us.
“[It’s] hectic enough with all three of us preparing for finals. I’d say the parents are driven crazy at home.”
Eddie Gibbons of Kilmacud Crokes ahead of Saturday’s Go-Ahead Dublin Senior Hurling Club Championship final taking place in Parnell Park in Dublin.
Leading public transport provider, Go-Ahead Ireland are the titles sponsors of all adult Dublin club leagues and championships. Photos by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile