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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 20th November, 2014

 

Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor

Email: sports@kerryseye.com

Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement

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HEADLINES

Dingle Jockey Jack Kennedy takes National title

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dingle’s young jockey, 15-year-old Jack Kennedy, who has been taking the pony circuit by storm in recent years, was crowned the Irish field National Jockey Champion for 2014 at a function held at the River Island Hotel, Castleisland, on Saturday night.

Kennedy, a 5th year student at PS Chorca Dhuibhne, rode 78 winners to claim the title for the 3rd year in row.

He also completed a 3-in-a-row as Southern Regional Champion and 2-in-a-row as Midlands’ champion.

Kennedy, just like Conor King and Oisin Murphy who are the most recent graduates to racing under rules, is considered a great prospect as he possesses great balance, great hands, is a superb judge of pace.

His father Billy, speaking to Kerry’s Eye this week, explained that Jack clearly wants to make riding winners his career choice from next summer.

“He has been interested in ponies and riding since he could walk. It was all he ever wanted. He rode six timers twice this year in two day meetings.

“He is currently doing his work experience up at Tommy Stack’s stables in Tipperary.

“He hopes to take out his licence next April, when he turns 16. Jack would like to thank the Three Counties syndicate (Cork), Finnerty brothers (Roscommon), Gary Boyle and David Granville (Dingle) for all their help.”

Jack’s dad is not certain that he will stick to the flat, however.

“Davy Russell has been giving Jack advice and he had a great influence. So Jack may eventually turn to the jumping game.”

Kerry U-21s enter Hastings Cup

Kerry chairman Patrick O’Sullivan has confirmed that Kerry have applied to play in and have been accepted into the Hastings Cup for the first time.

Sixteen counties will compete in next year's Hastings Cup U21 football tournament which gets underway on January 3rd and is run by the Longford County Board.

The long-running competition, which the competing counties use to prepare for the U21 championship, will consist of four groups of four teams. The top team from each group will qualify for semi-finals. The group runners-up will contest the Hastings Shield.

Kerry is in a tough group that includes Roscommon, Meath and Cavan who have won the last three Ulster titles.

It is run on a round robin basis and Kerry will play Roscommon on January 3rd, Cavan on January 10th and Meath on January 17th at neutral venues.

Patrick O’Sullivan explained that as the U-21 Munster Championship is on a knock-out basis, Kerry boss Darragh O Se wanted to see the players perform in competitive games rather than friendlies.

“It will give the U21 management a chance to see the lads in competitive action, rather than going in cold to the Munster Championship, not knowing your best team maybe, and where you get no second chance.”

However, the GAA rule prevents U21 inter-county football teams from returning to collective training until January 1st next. This leaves the 16 competing counties with just two days to prepare for the opening round.

DECLAN RETIRES

Former double All-Ireland winning Captain and 5 time All Ireland medal winner Declan O’Sullivan has retired from senior inter county football.

O’Sullivan, considered by many to be one of the greatest centre forwards to have played the game, issued a statement on the Kerry GAA website on Wednesday morning.

“It has been an incredibly difficult decision to arrive at but, after a lot of consideration, I feel now is the right time.

Unfortunately, due to some long-standing injuries, it would be impossible for me to physically compete at the required level in 2015”, O’Sullivan said.

The 3 time All Star reserved a special thank you to Kerry supporters.

“I would like to thank the Kerry supporters for all the support and kindness shown to me throughout my career. Your appetite for winning is what keeps driving the players to constantly perform at the highest level.

Finally I would like to wish Eamonn and his management team, and all the lads, the very best for 2015. I look forward to watching them carrying on the great tradition of Kerry football over the coming years."

Kerry County Board Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan echoed the sentiments of Kerry supporters around the globe by paying a glowing tribute to one of Kerry’s favourite footballing sons.

“As Kerry people we all owe Declan O’Sullivan a great debt of gratitude for the outstanding service he has given to the county in a career that stretches way back to his Minor days in 2001.

Declan will be a huge loss to the Kerry set-up, both as a player on the field of play and on the training field and in the dressing room where his leadership qualities were never more evident than in this year’s championship campaign where he nurtured the younger players around him.

To Declan, his family Michelle, Ollie and Robbie, I extend a sincere thank you on behalf of the Gaels of Kerry.”

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

Horan joins the Blues

Kerins O’Rahillys plan to strengthen their management team for an assault on next year’s titles according to club chairman Frank O’Connor.

Current manager Barry O’Shea is looking to bring in former Limerick manager Maurice Horan onto the coaching staff.

Horan, from Ballinrobe, served as manager of the Limerick under-21 football team for a period before being appointed manager of the Limerick senior football team in October 2010 for three years.

He guided Limerick to promotion from Division Four last year and in 2011 guided the team to the All-Ireland quarter-finals.  The sideline may be further strengthened by the addition of fitness and conditioning coach Joe O’Connor.

The Rathkeale native is a lecturer at IT Tralee and has most recently been part of Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare hurling management team.  He also worked previously with the Kerry footballers and hurlers.

Frank O’Connor explained the plan.

“We think we will have a very good panel next year and with Maurice and Joe helping Barry, Pat Flavin and Ray Walsh we think we have a strong management team too.”

The playing side will be strengthened by the return of Tommy Walsh from Sydney Swans. Tommy is due back in the county just before Christmas.

The Blues are hoping for the return of Danny O’Sullivan for the new season. Less certain is the future of Barry John Walsh who has developed business interests in San Francisco.

 

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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