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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 24th April, 2014

 

Jim O Gorman

Sports Editor

Email: sports@kerryseye.com

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Stiff competition for Kerry posts

New York fundraiser for Currans

In what will be viewed as positive news for Kerry GAA supporters, officials and players alike, the first sod is set to be turned on the Currans development in the not too distant future.

Fundraising for the project continues apace with the latest initiative a major US fundraising event. A number of former Kerry players will fly out to New York in May for a special function.

There will also be Golf Classic as US-based Kerry supporters get the opportunity to assist in the financing of the proposed structures at both Currans and IT Tralee. Tim Murphy of the Kerry County Board has spearheaded the US initiative.

The New York function will be hosted by Maurice Regan of New York construction company JT Magen.

The Tralee native has been one of the major players in the US funding initiative. The Kerry County Board are also hopeful that they will receive some Government funding for the project.

If all goes to plan, work will begin on developing the playing surfaces in Currans in the early part of the summer. This will be followed by construction work on the proposed indoor facilities in early 2015.

It is hoped that both the IT Tralee and Currans developments, which are estimated to cost in the region of €6 million, will be a debt-free investment which would be a huge achievement in these trying financial times.

Host of honours for Kerry riders on Ras

The 2014 International Kerry Group Rás Mumhan was memorable for many reasons but especially the performance of the Kerry riders.

Taking the Paul O’Shea Memorial Cup for the Best Kerry Rider was Sean Lacey (Aqua Blue) who finished 5th overall and indeed at one stage on Day 3 was the leader on the road.

The King of the Hills, which, on this race should really be renamed as the King of the Mountains, went to Dylan Foley from the Irish Development Squad. One of the youngest riders on the Ras, Dylan’s parents are from Tralee.

Killarney Cycling Club Brendan Cassidy proved how tough these cyclists are. The young rider took the senior A2/3 jersey but that’s only half the story. Brendan crashed towards the end of Stage 3, suffering a facial injury but finished the race to take the jersey.

Former Olympic rower Cathal Moynihan had a Rás to remember, taking the first stage and was in yellow going into Day 2. He was also just pipped by less than a bike length at the end of the Waterville stage before finishing in a very creditable 17th – having been a recent convert from the boat to the bike.

The overall winner was Mark Dowling, DID/Dunboyne CC, who took the jersey on the final stage. He was ably assisted by Listowel’s Eugene Moriarty who himself was second on the Waterville stage.

The Kerry County Board are due to meet outgoing Kerry U21 manager Darragh O Sé in the next week.  The former All Star’s two-year term as Kerry U21 manager finished with Kerry’s defeat to Cork in the Munster Championship last month.

This was the second season in a row that Kerry exited the first round of the Munster Championship to their neighbours. At the time of writing it is not known whether O Sé is seeking a further term as Kerry U21 football manager but sources close to the Kerry County Board have confirmed that there is considerable interest in the position, including from prominent former Kerry players.

The County Board are also on the verge of appointing a successor to Sean Moynihan for the post of Kerry Junior Football manager.

Speaking to Kerry’s Eye earlier this week, Kerry County Board chairman Patrick O’Sullivan confirmed that he hoped to have both appointments sorted out by the end of the month.

“Discussions are ongoing at present regarding both appointments. We will speak to Darragh O Sé shortly and we are also looking to fill the Kerry Junior manager’s position.

“We see this year’s Kerry Junior panel as being an ideal stepping stone for our younger players and hopefully they will have an extended run in the championship.

“We should be in a position to propose both the U21 and Junior managerial candidates by our next County Board meeting.”

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

Cooper targets Listowel return

Gigginstown number one jockey and Tralee’s own Bryan Cooper looks set to defy the medics and make a return to the saddle much sooner than expected, and now may well make an appearance at Listowel Races this September.

Cooper suffered a compound fracture in his right leg when his mount Clarcam fell in the Fred Winter Hurdle on the Wednesday of the Cheltenham Festival.

Cooper was whisked to Bristol Hospital.

The 21-year-old from Farmers Bridge has undergone two surgeries since, one that involved a painful skin graft and it was expected he would return in early 2015.

However, recent X-rays have given the jockey renewed hope for an earlier return.

Cooper admits that his medics were surprised at how well his leg is healing.

“I won’t know for another week or so whether it is healing or not, but I got an X-ray done last Friday week and they said they could not believe the progress made from the day it happened to now. “You can barely tell where the break is, which is very positive. So if it starts knitting, you are looking at four to six months, which you’d settle for.”

Now the top jockey is hopeful of an earlier than planned return.

“It’s hard to know, but if it starts healing and everything goes to plan, then maybe my target might be Listowel Harvest Festival in September.”

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye

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