Conor Kearns: “We need to stick to our core philosophies, and we need to have that belief in ourselves”

Article by Andrew Dempsey - @AndrewDempsey98

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The hard work never seems to stop at UCD. While the League of Ireland season finished up for the Students in September, Collie O’Neill’s young guns have been busy to say the least during the ‘off-season’.

Despite a brief respite, UCD had plenty of other commitments to attend to in the college footballing circles in the form of the CUFL and Collingwood Cup qualifiers.

Following the Students nil-nil friendly stalemate with Shelbourne, UCD ‘keeper Conor Kearns caught up with BetweenTheStripes.ie to discuss his side’s pre-season preparations, as the 20-year-old shot-stopper also reflected on his recent call up to Stephen Kenny’s home-based under-21 squad.

“Yeah it was nice to get a run out this evening.” Kearns exclusively told BetweenTheStripes.ie  

“Shels have improved a lot on last season, they’re a good side and it’s always good to keep ourselves ticking over with some high tempo games, especially with our college season starting out.”

Recently, Kearns was called up by Republic of Ireland Under-21 boss Stephen Kenny into a home-based squad.

Kearns joins fellow Students Neil Farrugia and Liam Scales in the exciting home-based squad and noted that he is delighted to have earned the call-up.

“It’s pleasing. I didn’t really anticipate it, you’re focusing during pre-season on yourself so it’s a nice one to be included in the squad. It’s a testament to the hard work we put in last season, and that’s very pleasing.”

In terms of how his involvement with the under-21s will impact his Collingwood Cup commitments, the former Templeogue United schoolboy star is unsure how things will develop at the moment.

“It’s up in the air at the moment. I’m not even too sure as to what the exact details of it are just yet. I’m sure Stephen (Kenny) and the club will sort something out.”

In terms of looking towards the 2019 Premier Division campaign, the former UCD Under-19 star concluded by saying that he is hoping to continue his development after a breakthrough 2018 campaign.  

“The aim this season is to build on last season. We’re obviously a very young team and we’re not going to get too ahead of ourselves.

“We had a very solid season against a lot of Premier Division teams last year. We got some very good results against them. It’s all about bringing a bit of maturity to our performances we have to put in the hard work and have belief in ourselves.

“Most importantly, we need to stick to our core philosophies, and we need to have that belief in ourselves.”