There was a genuine feeling of new beginnings at the Pavilion in Austin Stack Park on Monday night last as County Board delegates ratified Peter Keane as the new senior Kerry manager on a three-year term. Keane’s management team will include Donie Buckley (coach), Maurice Fitzgerald, Tommy Griffin and James Foley (selectors).
As delegates milled around after the County Board meeting had finished, there was universal agreement that the four-man selection committee had put in place a Management team that has the skillset required to take on the sizeable task of making the Kerry senior football team genuine All-Ireland title contenders once again.
Kerry County Board chairman Tim Murphy was satisfied the four-man selection committee had got the decision right.
County Board Chairman Tim Murphy met with the media on Monday following Peter Keane’s ratification as Kerry senior football manager and he firstly outlined the process that led to the appointment of Keane and his backroom team.
“There’s nothing straightforward in this world but having said that I think that we have arrived at a decision that we are all as a selection committee very comfortable with. I think it’s a testament to the manager Peter Keane that he has managed to assemble such a strong and vibrant team that’s befitting of Kerry. I am delighted and I think there is evidence out there tonight with the sense of satisfaction coming from the delegates. We now have a new manager and a management team that are capable of delivering at the highest level. I am very happy with the decision that we have made.”
Dr Crokes may have been beaten by Kerins O’Rahillys in the second round of the championship but selector Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan rejects the theory that this will be an opportunity to avenge that defeat. “We see this as an opportunity to make the county final. That’s what matters to us. Revenging that loss is the furthest thing from our minds. To be fair, we are lucky to get the second chance and we are trying to take advantage of that opportunity.” Crokes have only a couple of injury headaches ahead of the semi-final. “David O’Leary is 50/ 50 at most after picking up an injury in the win over Legion and Cillian Fitzgerald is also a major doubt. We had a good few niggles in the first few games of the championship but thankfully they all appear to have cleared up now so we should have a full squad bar the two lads who will remain doubts right up to the game on Sunday.” O’Callaghan is happy with the progress that Crokes are making. “I think we showed against Legion that we are getting back to where we want to be. When we play with that type of intensity we are happy. Hard work is a crucial part of our game plan and we felt the lads were not just not up to the pace of the game in the early rounds but we are happy now that we seem to be progressing and the aim now for everyone involved is to get back into another county final.”