AFTER A YEAR which he described as ‘a washout’, Seanie Johnston began the new season in sparkling fashion yesterday.
He spent much of last season on the sideline as his controversial switch from Cavan to Kildare dragged on.
But with that saga behind him and a niggling calf injury that hampered him over Christmas having cleared up, Johnston made his first start yesterday in a Kildare jersey.
The livewire attacker was in electric form in Tullamore in their O’Byrne Cup semi-final against Offaly.
He proved a potent threat close to goal and chalked up seven points, three from play.
“It’s a long time since I got 70 minutes in,” admitted Johnston, when speaking to local radio station KFM.
“Last year was a washout, I wasn’t able to play until late in the year. But hopefully this year will be different. We’ll get a good run out and see how things go.”
Johnston revealed that he learnt to accept last year that the transfer situation was ‘out of his control’.
“It was probably hard in that I wasn’t talking about it but everyone else was talking about it. The thing you learn is that a lot of stuff is out of control.
“You can only control what you do, not what other people do. Different people have their opinions. You can only just keep working hard and knuckle down.”
And Johnston thanked his new teammates for helping him fit in to the Kildare squad.
“It’s not hard to integrate with those lads. They’re not just very good footballers, they’re good people. They’re very welcome and very friendly. I have to thank them for that.”
Kildare boss Kieran McGeeney praised Johnston for his contribution to their 1-12 to 1-9 victory.
“He played very well. He showed that he can definitely come up with the goods. I’ll be looking for much more from him. He was getting a lot of physical attention but he was well able for it. That’s good for us to know that he’s going to go for any ball that comes near him.”
McGeeney also confirmed that Daryl Flynn and Eamonn Callaghan are both unlikely to be back to full fitness until the start of March as they continue their recovery from injuries.
That means they will miss their opening Division 1 games in the Allianz Football League against Donegal on February 2nd and Cork on February 9th, and will also be doubtful for the clash with Kerry on March 9th.