Earley joy at 'first bit of football for over a year'
KILDARE midfielder Dermot Earley declared himself "absolutely delighted" after taking almost a full part in training on Tuesday night.
Earley and fellow cruciate injury victim Hugh Lynch completed "around 80pc" of the training session in Newbridge and reported no ill-effects.
"I was absolutely delighted leaving Newbridge," said the Sarsfields man. "I know I've done the work in the gym and I am doing the rehab.
"It's about getting the confidence back and it felt good. I'll need a lot more of that because realistically it's my first bit of football in a year and a half."
Having suffered a relapse in his previous bid to recover from the injury, Earley is understandably reluctant to set a date for his return but he insisted Kildare can still gain promotion from Division 2 despite losing their opening two league matches.
"It's been disappointing. There's no hiding that at all. We've created chances; we just haven't taken them. It's something we need to work on," he said.
"The chances have been there -- we've dropped a lot of ball short into the goalkeeper's hands, we've kicked a lot of wides, and they're inexcusable as well.
"It's not the ideal start but we still have an opportunity, be it a far-fetched one, of promotion. It just means we have to win all our games in March and beat Galway then in April.
"It's a hard task but we'll give it a go and see what happens."
Elsewhere, John Heslin lined out on Tuesday night in his first game for Westmeath since his decision to return home from the AFL. The St Loman's club man played a part in a challenge game for the county U-21 side.