Two clean sheets and unbeaten in the Group C of the Leinster Senior Cup.
There was plenty of positives to take for Wednesday’s hard fought 1-0 victory over Wexford FC at Whitehall.
Thomas Morgan’s first senior goal; Freddie Turley’s full senior debut; Jamie Duggan’s senior debut and underage players Alain Kizenga and Zach Nolan getting first-team game time.
“I thought as an exercise for us – it was really good. Even the last ten to 15 minutes when we were down to ten players, it was a good test. We’ll need that at some point of the year” beamed Head Coach Ian Ryan after the game.
“The most pleasing bit was the hunger and the fight. You could hear the players. They wanted to defend. They wanted the clean sheet. It’s something we possibly lacked last year. There was a real purpose to our defending. That’s really good.”
There was three changes to the starting 11 against Evergreen. And three different players on the bench. Which empathises the importance of a squad.
“Again, it’s a competitive game in pre-season. People are there for minutes. We’re looking at different formations. Different variations to it. People are also staking their claim for the start of the year in two weeks’ time” Ryan explained.
The result leaves Bray top of Group C with four points from two games.
Shelbourne have three points with two games remaining. Evergreen have a single point with Wexford currently pointless.
Evergreen host Wexford on Sunday in Kilkenny while Wanderers will welcome to Shels on Monday to the Carlisle Grounds.
“Listen, if we qualify as a top-two placed team, we’ll take it – for sure. We want to do as well as we can,” said Ryan.
But he stressed “For, it’s to balance the minutes players get. We got another five players to get the full 90 minutes. Freddie got a bit of cramp late on. We could have kept him on. But we’re trying to make sure we have a full squad come the UCD game (on February 16). That will be one of aims for the Shels game too.”