Kerry's Eye Sports

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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 23 July, 2014

 

Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor

Email: sports@kerryseye.com

Kerry's Eye Sports Supplement

SPORTS

HEADLINES

Savannah to captain Ireland in Listowel

Pat Kennedy Park, the home ground of Listowel Celtic, has once again been chosen to host an international Friendly. The game, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18th with a 7.30 pm kick-off should bring a huge crowd to the venue to see local girl Savannah McCarthy captain the Ireland Ladies as they take on Scotland Ladies at Under 19.

Dominic Scanlon, who has seen Savannah progressing in all aspects of the game from the time she joined the club was thrilled with the news.

"First of all we are delighted for Savannah and it will be a chance for the soccer public in Kerry to see her in action at international level. The fact that she has won 13 international caps is a fair indication of her overall ability.

"She is a more defensive player than an attacker but she is so versatile that she can adapt to playing in any position. Last year in the European Championships in Norway she was Ireland's top scorer with three goals.

"Everyone associated with Listowel Celtic is thrilled for Savannah who has always represented Listowel Celtic and the Republic of Ireland with great dignity. It is everyone's dream to represent their country but Savannah joins an elite group who have had the honour of leading out the Irish team as captain on their own home ground."

Bernsen back to guide Imperials

Tralee Imperials announced this week that the hugely experienced American coach Mark Bernsen is joining the club as Director of Basketball Operations. Bernsen has been involved in basketball for over 35 years and was coach of Tralee Tigers when they were in the Super League as well as having a vast knowledge of the College basketball scene in the US.

One of Mark's priorities will be the club's senior women's team, Team Garvey's Tralee BC, who will once again compete in the National League. This side has been one of the top in the country regularly reaching, and winning Cup and League finals. They are rebuilding their squad at the moment and have secured the services of French player Juanita Robayo. The plan is to take this side into the Women's SuperLeague in the next couple of seasons.

Kirby's of the Brogue Inn are the new title sponsors of the U20 / County League Men's team,Team Kirby's Tralee BC, that will also compete in Men's Division 1 of the National League and in the new Hula Hoops Intermediate Club Championship.

Imperials' chairman John Dowling said he was very excited.

"We are thrilled to have secured Mark as Director of Operation where alongside his coaching duties he will be involved in coach education and also going into schools. We are really looking forward to the National League campaigns by Team Garvey's and Team Kirby's and plan to continue the great successes that were achieved over the past seasons."

KELLY BOMBSHELL

There was shock news on Tuesday as it became clear Kerry Senior Hurling Manager Eamonn Kelly had tendered his resignation.

The Tipperary man had steered Kerry not just to another Christy Ring victory this year but also saw his side promoted to Division 1 B of the Allianz Hurling League. This means they will meet the likes of a young Wexford side who demolished Kilkenny's U21s last week as well as Davy Fitzgerald's Clare, Limerick and Offaly.

Moreover, by virtue of their Christy Ring Final victory over Derry, Kerry will play in the Liam McCarthy Cup in 2016.

So it was something of a bombshell for the hurling fraternity when the Kildangan man decided to call it a day in the Kingdom.

Speaking to Kerry's Eye on Tuesday, Kelly confirmed the news that he had decided to leave.

"The first thing I want to say is that you couldn't train a better bunch of fellas. They have shipped a lot of flack, most of it undeserved. I've trained many teams and they were a joy to be around. We won two Allianz League titles, lost one Christy Ring Final but came back to win another. This year we also beat Antrim to get that promotion to Division 1B.

"I wish them the very best. They and that backroom team were terrific. Whoever comes in will inherit a committed squad and if conditions are right they can have further success."

Sources close to the management team suggest that a stumbling block was the resourcing of the squad for this significant step-up in standard.

There are a number of coaches working with Kerry sides that may be interested in picking up the baton. Ciaran Carey who trained Lixnaw to the 2014 title and Mark Foley, Limerick's inspirational wing back currently in charge of Lixnaw, are two immediate names that spring to mind. Clare's Anthony Daly would be a very popular candidate who has an intimate knowledge of Kerry hurling. The former Dublin manager trained Kilmoyley to county titles in 2008 and 2009.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

Quarters beckon

but against whom?

Kerry's Munster final Replay victory over Cork in a soaking wet Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday night sends them into the All-Ireland Quarter-Finals. Both quarter-finals featuring Kerry and Dublin will be played in Croke Park on Sunday August 2nd with the Kerry game likely to be the opening fixture on the double bill.

But the Kingdom must await the outcome of this weekend's Group 4A Qualifier round before knowing who they will meet.

Kerry PRO, John O'Leary outlined the possibilities.

"The permutations will probably see Kerry playing the winners of the Westmeath v Fermanagh qualifier but a Kildare victory over Cork will upset that apple cart. The quarter-final draw is subject to provincial final winners avoiding defeated finalists from their own province in the first instance and to the avoidance of repeat pairings where possible."

The winners of Kerry's quarter-final tie will play the winners of the Monaghan /Tyrone/Sligo tie in the semi-finals on Sunday August 23rd.

Meanwhile the Kerry Minors are still waiting to find out their opponents in the quarter-finals of the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship. They are scheduled to meet the losers of the Connacht Final but Galway and Sligo drew at the weekend.

Kerry have requested that this game be played on Sunday, August 2nd as a curtain raiser to their senior game but as Croke Park have pointed out, Kildare could be in exactly the same position on that day.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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