independent

Thursday 28 August 2014

No Hyde-ing place in tough division

RORY KERR

Published 01/01/2013 | 11:22

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HYDE Park manager, Gary Woodhead, is delighted with his team's first season up in the Major Sunday division as the Balbriggan men rest comfortably in the top half.

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This is Woodhead's fifth year in charge and while he guided the club to four successive promotions, he admits that Hyde Park can expect a much tougher ride from now on. 'We are not doing too bad in our first season up. We are up to fourth but fifth or sixth is probably a truer reflection of where we are going to finish,' he said. And Woodhead believes that this season has definitely proved a step up in class for his team. 'Apart from Parkvale who are bottom of the league you can't have an off twenty minutes or half an hour. We are on a par with everyone in terms of fitness but when you make a mistake you tend to get punished. 'We played Enniskerry last and we drew 2-2 and scored in the last minute. We went down to Tullamore and slipped up and we played Dublin University and we should have taken somthing from the game. 'We are conceding a few goals but we are making up for it by scoring. We are making things hard for ourselves with silly little errors.' Despite the absence of an underage structure and their own pitch, Hyde Park have certainly shown their adaptability and Woodhead was full of praise for his charges. 'We worked hard, myself and Patrick Harford who gives me a hand with the coaching. We had a bit of luck along the way. There was a dedication involved. There were four promotions in a row and you don't get that from swanning around. 'They (the players) had work and all that and even on Champions League nights they came down training and everything I have asked of them they have responded.' Hyde Park's fortunes have coincided with the return of team captain, Richie Collins from injury while centre half John Richardson has given the team plenty of stability at the back. David Guery is another to have performed well while Ryan McMahon and Joey Doherty have provided a good outlet in the goal scoring stakes. The Polikoff league Cup is one trophy that Woodhead certainly has his eyes on while there are also two mouth-watering derbies with Fingal neighbours, Swords Celtic to come. And Woodhead admits it has been a struggle at times to compete with the bigger clubs in the area. 'The problem we have is we haven't got a settled side because a lot of the lads are on shift work so we haven't been able to put the same side out any two games in a row. 'I wouldn't say by changing things we are weakening ourselves but at the moment there is no consistency. You are competing with the likes of Glebe North [for players] and the big thing is that they don't have Sunday morning football. So lads have been working all week and the last thing they want to do is stay in on Saturday night and work on a Sunday morning. 'Sunday morning is a killer. I would have another ten fellas knocking on my door if it weren't for that. But the lads we have I have never had a problem with it. If one of them is going to a wedding or christening they let me know.'

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