DR Crokes co-manager and chairman Vince Casey says there is no chance of the club taking its eye off the ball ahead of this Sunday's O'Donoghue Cup Final with Rathmore despite the trip to London the following Sunday to play Tir Chonaill Gaels in the All-Ireland Senior Club quarter-final in Ruislip.
Bar Eoin Brosnan, who is out for the rest of the year after picking up an injury in last Sunday's win over Castlehaven, Casey expects the Crokes to be picking from a full-strength team for Sunday's East Kerry Final in Fitzgerald Stadium.
"In an ideal world you would like to have the weekend off before London but the players are as anxious to play the O'Donoghue Cup Final as much as anyone else in the club. Only if we had any injury worries about starting players would we consider resting them but in Eoin's case he is out for the rest of the year so that is taken out of our hands. They are well aware of the significance that is attached to this match from a historical point of view and know also if they look past Sunday then Rathmore are more than capable of punishing them," Casey (pictured below) told The Kerryman.
As a club the Crokes are looking to win their seventh straight East Kerry title, equalling the club's record of 1956-62 but also Colm Cooper and Eoin Brosnan are looking to equal club-mates Jackie Looney and Con Clifford's record haul of 10 medals in the prestigious competition. The Crokes co-manager did say the cost and logistics of the trip to London are more than the club bargained for however.
"It's certainly more expensive than what Croke Park told us it would be anyway. We did hardly any celebrating on Sunday night because we were checking everything out between making sure all the players' passports are valid to seeing what hotels are available to stay. It's such an expensive trip before Christmas that we will only be able to bring a small crowd of supporters to the game, certainly smaller than travelled in 2007 when the match was after Christmas and was a lot cheaper," Casey said.
Munster's game against Saracens in the Heineken Cup on the same day (December 16) in London is driving up the costs of the logistics according to Casey but says the cost will be alleviated some what by the club's victory in the County League Fair Play award which carried with it a €1000 prize.
"That's a credit to our players as much as anything for the discipline they have shown throughout the year and if we do get over the next two weekends we can start to think about some form of a break over Christmas but we're not looking past London or this Sunday in the overall scheme of things at the same time."
Sunday week's trip to Ruislip is the Killarney side's second trip to the British capital in the All-Ireland Club series having defeated St Brendans of London in the 2007 competition by 2-12 to 0-5.