Ciaran Kelly feels he’s back at Letterkenny Rovers all the better for a four-year stint at Finn Harps.
Kelly initially joined Harps’ Under-19s, but was given a squad number with the first team for the 2016 Premier Division campaign.
The defender played an EA Sports Cup game against Sligo Rovers in 2017, replacing Ciaran Coll at half-time, but with opportunities limited he returned to Leckview Park.
“Being up at Harps helped me,” Kelly said.
“It improved me as a player. It was hard. We trained with the first team mostly and went away with the 19s for games. It was a good experience at Harps.”
Kelly has fitted in seamlessly at Rovers, who have won five-from-five in the Four Lanterns Ulster Senior League.
A 1-0 win over Cockhill saw Eamon McConigley’s team keep another clean sheet and maintain their perfect start to the League season.
Kelly said: “We have more in the tank. We just need to keep it going now. We’ve to keep digging out the results.
“We’ve gelled well and have kept a few clean sheets.
“We’re going well. We had a hard, tight game on Sunday in Cockhill.
“We were under pressure for long spells. We had long pressure but they didn’t have too much on it. We defended well as a unit. We dealt with the long balls, but there was no wild threat on goal.”
On Tuesday, Kelly scored the equaliser for Letterkenny Institute of Technology in a 1-1 draw with Dundalk IT.
These are busy times with Rovers and LyIT flying high.
Kelly’s goal cancelled out an opener by Carlton Ubaezuonu this week. Last week, LyIT came from behind to dump IT Carlow out of the CFAI Cup.
Kelly said: “It’s bad that we have to go a goal down to get back into it.
“We should have been ahead early on. At the end of the day, we just didn’t take the chances against Dundalk.
“We should have won it. We had enough chances to kill two games.
“We conceded a sloppy goal, but got right back into it. We should have won it.
“The goal was just a case of boys running off shoulders and the ‘keeper got caught off his line a wee bit. It was a bit of luck – good for them, bad for us.”
Next up for Kelly is a pair of derbies. LyIT face North West Regional College on Wednesday, but first Rovers host a steadily-improving Bonagee United on Sunday.
Kelly believes Rovers are gunning to make up for the hurt of last year, when they took Cockhill to a play-off, but lost out in the race for the title.
He said: “The boys have been talking a lot of about how last year ended and they want to set that right this year.”Tags: