League Preview: Athlone Town -v- Kerry
Athlone Town welcome First Division basement boys Kerry to the Athlone Town Stadium on Friday night (kick-off is at 7.45pm).
Athlone come into the game off the back of a narrow 1-0 defeat against Cobh Ramblers last weekend.
And that defeat has heaped pressure on Dario Castelo’s side in regards to the play-off chase.
The Town are now just five points clear of sixth-placed Longford Town – but they do still remain in fourth, one point ahead of Wexford.
But a win over Kerry can ease the pressure in the Midlands as Athlone chase a return to the top-flight for the first time since 2014.
Billy Dennehy’s Kerry visit Athlone without the services of defender Jonathan Hannifin who has parted ways with the club this week.
The defender has left to return to the Munster Senior League and join Rockmount.
But Kerry’s chase for a second league win of the season is ongoing – and they won on their last visit to Athlone earlier this year.
And with nothing much to play except for pride, Dennehy is hoping his side can take a few scalps before the end of the season.
“We still have Galway, Waterford and Cobh to play and all these teams that are in play-off positions,” he told the Kerryman this week.
“This is what I’ll be saying to the players, that if you want to have aspirations of getting into the play-off positions next season, if you want to push forward and develop on where you have been this season, then these are the teams you’ve to go and compete against.
“That’ll be a good challenge for us now over the remainder of the season.”
Referee: Daryl Carolan.
Athlone Town 2-0 Kerry