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PRO GAA Scene January 14th 2015 2015-01-14 23:29:00


Kerry Under 21 Footballers defeat Cavan in Hastings Cup

Kerry Under 21 Footballers continued their preparations for the Munster Football Championship meeting with either Limerick or Cork on March 18th when defeating Cavan by 1-17 to 0-8 on Saturday last in Round 2 of the Hastings Cup organised by the Longford County Board. Kerry, who had drawn with Roscommon in their opening game of the tournament, led by 1-8 to 0-5 at half time thanks to a goal from Jack Savage and the Kingdom tacked on the scores in the second half to run out deserving winners. Jack Savage,with 1-6 to his credit, top-scored for Kerry, while Micheál Burns and Cillian Fitzgerald chipped in with 3 points each. Kerry’s final game in the group is against Meath on Saturday next in Dr Morris Park, Thurles. Both Kerry and Roscommon top the four team group with 3 points each. The semi finals, and plate semi finals of the competition are on January 24th with the final on January 31st.

Kerry go down to IT Tralee in the McGrath Cup

In the absence of the All Ireland winning panel who did not return from their Team Holiday until early on Monday morning last, the Kerry team that saw duty in the McGrath Cup on Sunday last was made up largely of players from last year's and this year's Under 21 squad and members of last year's Junior panel while the Under 21 management team, headed up by Darragh Ó Sé, took charge of the team selection.

On the day, IT Tralee were the deserving winners of a game that at one stage early in the second half, with wind assistance, Kerry seemed to be well capable of winning. Wind assisted in the first half, the college outfit wasted many scoring chances and a good second quarter by Kerry had them back in the game following Conor Kean’s opportunistic goal mid way through the half. IT were a point to the good at the break but Kerry, with a succession of points, went four clear 11 minutes into the second half. Two goals and two points in a six minute spell by IT ended Kerry’s hopes however and the students dominated the rest of the game to run run out deserving winners on a score of 4-12 to 0-16 and set up a semi final meeting with UCC on Sunday next. Conor Keane was in outstanding form for IT and that is one bit of good news for returning Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.


Allianz Football League pre purchase discount applies again this year

Once again this year there is a €5 pre-purchase discount (€10 pre-purchase price and €15 on match day) for all Division 1 Allianz Football League fixtures. The deal will offer supporters better value and also take some of the pressure off ticket sales at the various venues on match days. One key point to note is that this discount is only valid until midnight on the day before each fixture. Tickets will be available at all the usual outlets such as participating Centra and Supervalu stores nationwide and also at tickets.ie

Patrons should also note that Season Ticket sales are still ongoing from Croke Park prior to them coming off sale following the opening round of Allianz League fixtures. If supporters  wish to receive their season ticket card(s) prior to the opening round of League fixtures they will need to purchase before midnight on Wednesday January 21st.

The following are Kerry’s fixtures in the Allianz League:

Rd. 1 February 1st v Mayo in Fitzgerald Stadium

Rd. 2 February 8th v Derry in Celtic Pk

Rd. 3 March 1st v Dublin in Fitzgerald Stadium

Rd. 4 March 8th v Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn

Rd. 5 March 15th v Donegal in Austin Stack Park

Rd. 6 March 29th v Monaghan in Austin Stack Park

Rd. 7 April 5th v Tyrone in Healy Pk

Minor Football League plans being put in place

Clubs who intend to enter amalgamated teams in the 2015 Minor Football League are asked to confirm same to Coaching Officer Eamonn Whelan immediately as plans for this year’s Minor Leagues are being put together this week. It is very important that all Clubs who were part of amalgamated teams in 2014 should confirm the following:

(I) If you will be continuing with the same arrangement as applied in 2014

(ii   If you wish to enter a team on your own

(iii) If you wish to form a different amalgamation

Last year it will be remembered that the CCC expressed concern at the state of the Minor Leagues outlining that 7 Clubs had either opted out of the competition or had not amalgamated with other Clubs in order to provide Minor Football for their players. It was pointed out at the time that there were too many teams and early organisation by Club officials was vital to ensure that where a club did not have the numbers to participate on their own, then they should allow  ample time to amalgamate in order to  allow their players to play with another team.

Report of the Minor Review Committee at national level has some far reaching proposals

The report of the Minor Review Workgroup published last week by Croke Park contains  some very interesting and far reaching proposals and recommendations chief among which is the proposal that players must be over 17 years of age to be eligible to play in adult competitions.

The main recommendations are as follows:

Ø      A player must be over 17 to play in adult competition (i.e. over the U-21 grade). This is to protect the player from physical injury, reduce the risk of burnout and / or overuse and reduce the number of teams for which players are eligible.

Ø      With regard to Inter-County eligibility  a player who is eligible for Minor should not play at Adult Inter-County level or at Under-21 Inter-County level

Ø      A Minor Inter-County player should not play in Adult Club league competitions or Adult Club challenge games until finished Inter-County activity.

Ø      Club Minor Competitions should be completed no later than the second weekend in October to facilitate the commencement of Post Primary Schools competitions. The playing of mid-week Inter-County games should facilitate Counties in offering a defined programme of games for Club players.

Ø      Inter-County Minor finals should only be played as a curtain raiser to adult games where this is in the best interest of player welfare. Provinces/Counties should trial the playing of Minor finals as a stand-alone fixture.

Ø      All-Ireland Minor Football Quarter finals should be discontinued from 2016.

There is certainly some food for thought in the report and we here in Kerry, though we do not have a dual player problem to any great extent, recognised the fact that player burnout was, and is, an issue back in 2013  when a special committee was set up to examine the Minor grade. Interestingly, many of the findings of that committee are along very similar lines to the findings of the National committee particularly in relation to the Under 17 player. With the Divisional set up in place in Kerry, many minor players may find themselves playing  Minor, Under 21, Junior and Senior for both their Club and Division not to mention Colleges or Third Level and maybe inter- county on top of all that. This nettle will have to be grasped and sooner rather than later.

Referees In-Service Seminars

Three In-Service Referees Seminars will be held over the next fortnight at the following venues:

·         Monday 19th January in Fossa GAA Club for East Kerry and Kenmare District.

·         Wednesday 21st January in Killorglin Day-Care Centre for South, Mid and West Kerry.

·         Monday 26th January in Kerins O’Rahillys GAA Club for Tralee, St BrendansNorth Kerry Football and Hurling Boards.

Stay off the Booze ….and On the Ball campaign is underway

The 2015 Off the Booze…On the Ball alcohol awareness campaign is just around the corner.

The OTB…OTB has been redeveloped to make it more appealing to clubs and individuals to get involved.  It was also decided to try and re-establish the campaign and develop a wider and more substantial foundation that can then be built on, something that would not be possible without the new County Health & Wellbeing Committees.

Six clubs from Kerry have already registered and although this is the minimum per county, Croke Park wants to make sure every club has the opportunity to get involved

Registration is open to clubs until the end of January, and Club registration is done online at www.gaa.ie/thechallenge. Once a club registers they will receive all the information they should need.  The campaign has numerous reasons for a club to get involved:

• It provides a fun way for clubs in Kerry to promote healthier lifestyles and even improve performances.

•         It gives clubs a novel way to raise money as all participants can get sponsored for going off the booze and on the ball via the online portal with all money going back to the club.

•         It gives club an opportunity to win a money can’t buy prize that the whole club can enjoy, the highlight of which will be a coaching session by a high profile coach and former inter county star.

•         All clubs will receive a digital promotion pack,  and participants will receive an information pack that will help them make OTB/OTB ’15 as successful as possible.     

If Clubs have any questions relating to OTB/OTB ’15 they should contact the Kerry GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee c/o Bernie Reen, Austin Stack Park or Emmet Haughian, Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator in Croke Park emmet.haughian@gaa.ie    

Kerry GAA Supporters Club 25th Annual Social is just two weeks away

One of the highlights of Kerry GAA’s social calendar is the annual Kerry GAA Supporters Club Annual Social which this year will be held in the Ballygarry House Hotel Tralee on Saturday 24th January 2015.

Guests will include the Managers and Captains of the victorious Kerry teams in both Hurling and Football along with the Kerry All Stars in both codes. No doubt, with the footballers and hurlers  having had a successful season there is sure to be a big demand for tickets which cost €35 each and are available from Martin Leane, John King, Donie O’ Leary or any member of the committee.

Music is by Neily O’Connor and doors close at 8.30pm sharp.


Scór na nÓg

The Munster finals of Scór na nÓg will take place on this Sunday 18th January. Best wishes to our Kerry competitors. The Kingdom will be taking part in every one of the 7 competitions. Maith sibh, a Mhuintir Chiarraí! Our quiz representatives, An Spá, have already qualified for the All-Ireland. Mo ceol sibh!

The Scór na nÓg All-Ireland will be held on 14th February....Lá 'le Vailintín.  

Scór na Sinsear

The county finals of Scór na Sinsear will take place ar an 21ú Feabhra. The competitions will begin ag 4pm  with the table quiz (teams of 4) and the other 7 competitions will 'throw-in' at 6pm. The Munster semi-finals of Senior Scór for Kerry, Limerick and Clare: Saturday 21st March in Cappamore, Co. Limerick. The 2nd semi-final: Saturday 28th March in Ovens, Co. Cork. The All-Ireland Finals of Scór na Sinsear will be held on 25th April at City West, Dublin.

Scór na bPáistí

Primary school Scór time looms ahead! The semi-finals for the South Kerry area will take place on Saturday 7th March. The North Kerry semi-finals will be on Sunday 8th March. Scór na bPáistí finals will take place on the last weekend in March. Chun oibre linn!

Hurling News with Tommy O’Connor of the PR & Marketing Committee

Kerry Hurlers in Waterford Crystal action

Kerry’s first competitive senior inter county hurling game of 2015 will take place on this Saturday, 17th January when they take on U.C.C. in the quarter final of the Waterford Crystal Cup. Venue is Austin Stack Park where there will be a 1.30p.m. throw in. Admission to the game is just €5 with all under 16’s free.

The 2015 management team consists of manager Eamon Kelly (Kildangan, Co. Tipperary) and selectors Tom O’Connell (Abbeydorney) and D.J. Leahy (Causeway). A new coach has come on board this year, Conor Gleeson from the Boherlahan/Dualla club in Tipperary. The 2015 Kerry senior hurling captain will be John Griffin (Lixnaw).

Kerry will commence their Allianz National Hurling League campaign on Sunday, 15 February with a home game against Derry.

Hurling 2020

The report of the Hurling 2020 committee, chaired by former Tipperary manager, Liam Sheedy, was published last week. It has some potentially far reaching implications, with 15 proposals in total, including 4 rule changes which will be brought forward to the Annual Congress and 11 proposals that can be decided by Central Council. Of significance to Kerry are the proposals to extend the timeframe for the Christy Ring Cup from 5 to 7 weekends and to play the final as a curtain-raiser to a high profile All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier, to end all promotion and relegation games in the National Leagues and to appoint a full time national Director of Hurling. The report can be viewed on the www.gaa.ie website.


The annual convention of the North Kerry Hurling Board will take place on this Thursday, 15th January at Ardfert National School, 8.00p.m. where it will be hosted by the St. Brendan’s Club.

The Lixnaw Hurling Club Victory Social takes place on this Saturday, 17th January at Ballyroe Heights Hotel. The minor and senior hurlers will be presented with their 2014 Co.  Championship medals while the club Person of the Year and the Hall of Fame award winners will also be announced. On Sunday, the Lixnaw instrumental music group will compete in the Munster finals of Scór na nÓg in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford where proceedings commence at 2.30p.m.  The group includes Ciara Shannon, Neilus Mackessy, Darragh Mackessy, Donagh McElligott and Elena McElligott.

The 53rd Annual Kilmoyley Hurling Club social will take place on Friday week, 23rd January at Ballyroe Heights Hotel. A Hall of Fame Award will be presented for the first time while other awards will include a senior and intermediate Player of the Year. Guests of honour will be members of the Kilmoyley team that won the 1974 North Kerry under 21 championship, the first team from the club to win this title.

Tralee Parnell’s are at present holding under 8 and 10 hurling sessions at Tralee Sports Complex each Tuesday between 7.00p.m. and 8.00p.m. All new players are welcome to come along and give it a try.