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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 30th October, 2014

 

Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor

Email: sports@kerryseye.com

Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement

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O’Connell set for switch?

It appears that Abbeydorney and Kerry star hurler Darragh O’Connell may be on the verge of switching clubs. The 24-year-old teaches in north Wicklow but plays hurling with his local club, Abbeydorney.

 He has been a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team since 2010.

He has had much success at inter-county level. In 2010, in his first year as part of the senior team, he helped Kerry win the National League Civ 3A title and later to a place in the Christy Ring Cup final, which Kerry lost by a point to Westmeath; he later won a Christy Ring Cup All Star. In 2011, Kerry were back in the Christy Ring Cup final; this time they won, beating Wicklow. He also won All-Ireland Under 21 B titles in 2009 and 2010, 2011.

He was part of the Under 21 Hurling/Shinty International team in 2010 and was captain of the team in 2011.

He has been an integral part of Kerry senior hurling manager Eamon Kelly’s plans, being transformed into an attacking wing back.

It is not clear at this stage whether he will stay in the Kerry set-up.

Meanwhile, Valentia’s John Shanahan completes the Kerry U21 management team, along with manager Darragh O Sé and Seamus Moynihan, with the rumours about Donie Buckley joining the set-up proving false, as he is staying with Mayo.

Harry O’Neill and Noel Kennelly are gone from last year’s U21 backroom team.

 

 

No changes to County championship until 2016

There has been great excitement on the playing fields this week with the Minor and Senior County Finals and the Kerry clubs in Munster action, but the actions off the field may have the greater significance in time to come.

The proposal to reduce the number of teams in the 2016 Kerry Senior Football Championship to seventeen instead of the current twenty was agreed on a 56 to 20 vote on Tuesday.

The 2016 Championship will comprise nine divisional teams (with a preliminary round between the two lowest ranked teams to eliminate one) and eight club sides.

The proposal was part of a series of changes that formed the recommendations of the County Championship Review Committee that were outlined by that committee’s Chairman, Tony O’Keeffe, on Tuesday night at the County Board Meeting in Fitzgerald Stadium.

Those proposals were originally intended to be implemented for next year’s championship if accepted by delegates.

However, after a robust debate from the floor, with a number of delegates expressing discomfort at the lack of a clear relegation process for three senior clubs and four Intermediate clubs from those competitions, and the possibility of a calendar year for competitions at GAA Congress 2015, only the first part of the proposal was put forward and passed comfortably.

Mid Kerry duo injury doubts

Mid Kerry have a couple of injury concerns over key defenders Aaron Cahillane and Ronan Murphy ahead of the replayed Kerry Senior County Football Final on Sunday next.

The Austin Stack’s management said that they have a few “sore bodies” but no real injury concerns ahead of a game that is sure to see a huge level of support in Killarney on Sunday afternoon.

Throw-in for the big match in Fitzgerald Stadium is at 2:45pm and it will be preceded by the Acorn Life Under 21 Club final between An Ghaeltacht and Dr Crokes at 1pm.

Entrance arrangements will be in line with last Sunday’s game.

There will be ticket vans in operation outside the ground, at both the Lewis Rd and Dalton’s Avenue ends, opening at 11:30am for ticket purchase. Admission is €15 and €10 for students and OAPs with valid ID. Juveniles (Under 16) will not need a ticket and will be admitted free of charge through the designated family turnstiles.

There will be a special pass gate at each end for pass holders such as Cairde Chiarraí, County Board Pass, Press Pass, season ticket holders etc - they will not need to queue at a ticket van. Wheelchair entry is by way of the usual entry point in Dalton’s Avenue.

Patrons are asked to purchase tickets in advance where at all possible.

A souvenir programme for the final costing €2 will be on sale.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

All Star Moran in International Rules squad

2014 All Star David Moran is All-Ireland champions Kerry's sole representative on the International Rules squad while Leinster champions Dublin will also have just one player involved - James McCarthy.

Manager Paul Earley confirmed his 25-man squad for the upcoming series Down Under, with 15 counties represented and Donegal's Michael Murphy selected as captain for the second successive year.

The travelling panel departs for Australia on November 12th. Moran and 4 other Kerry players were of course honoured at the annual GAA GPA All Stars awards at Friday night's banquet in the Convention Centre in Dublin.

This is the second smallest total by any All-Ireland winning team in the 43-year history of the awards, with Cork only gaining 4 awards back in 2010.

Paul Murphy, Peter Crowley and David Moran all picked up their first All Star, while Kieran Donaghy and James O'Donoghue were honoured for the third and second time respectively. O’Donoghue also picked up the coveted Player of the Year award. The omission of Aidan O'Mahony and Donnchadh Walsh was the big talking point in the county but in all honesty, reasonable cases could also be made for all of other 4 nominees - Johnny Buckley, Fionn Fitzgerald, Paul Geaney and Anthony Maher. It begs that question, who is responsible for selecting the All Stars every year?

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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