There is further good news for basketball in the county with the granting of a Men’s Division 1 License to Team Kerry BC by Basketball Ireland’s Men’s National Competitions Committee.
This followed last week’s announcement that St Paul’s in Killarney have been given a license to field a team in the Women’s National Basketball League (see page 9 for all the details).This is a great boost for women’s sport in the town and will see them join Team Tom McCarthy’s Castleisland in providing basketball at a national level. St Paul’s and LYIT from Donegal are the new teams this season in this division.
St Paul’s will be coached by former Dr Crokes football star James Fleming, who has an outstanding record as a ladies basketball coach.
The new men’s team will be known as Team Kerry Killarney Cougars. The Cougars will play their home games in the Presentation gym in Killarney when the season commences in October.
While players are looking forward to the full return of GAA fixtures in just over two weeks time, it is also a big time for the Kingdom’s referees. Referees will have to make adjustments to cater for Covid-19 guidelines but they will also have to deal with the new playing rules that seem to have been forgotten in all the fear and worry about the virus.
This past weekend saw the process to inform referees about what is expected of them begin as referee co-ordinator Pat Sheehy organised briefings in Austin Stack Park and Cahersiveen with further briefings due around the county at district level over the present week. The Clounmacon clubman went through a variety of different emotions himself during the uncertainty of the period from mid-March up until the start of June.
“I felt like we would be back to doing what we were all used to doing within six weeks. I don’t think the first 2-3 weeks were hard for people but the longer it went on, the more I think we all realised how serious this looked in the real possibility of there being no football for the rest of the year,” Sheehy said.
For much of the last four months, it looked like the minor grade at inter-county level would be the one that would have to be sacrificed if there was to be a meaningful inter-county season for the rest of 2020.
However, the great news is that it will go ahead as autumn turns into winter with James Costello and his management team, in his own words, almost having to reset themselves back to January 1st in terms of their 2020 plans.
Kerry’s Eye Sport caught up with the Blennerville man after the Munster Football Championship draw was made last Monday night. The draw sees Kerry playing Cork in what will be a winner-takes-all encounter. While no date and venue for the clash has been confirmed, it is expected that game will go ahead at a Kerry venue towards the end of October or early November.