Sports Digest: Anthony Stokes eager for Celtic success
Joe Ledley of Celtic celebrates the team’s second goal against Motherwell on Saturday.
“Of course signing for Celtic was my dream but, at the end of the day, I want to play more football. That has been at the back of my mind a couple of times but I’ve spoken to the boss and I’m very much part of his plans.
“I’ve enjoyed my three years at Celtic but, as much as I love the club and being part of the club, I want to play. If I was to leave it would be with a heavy heart but it isn’t going to happen so I’m fully focused on playing for Celtic.”
Celtic have lost highly rated teenager Islam Feruz to Premier League Chelsea after he agreed to sign his first professional contract with the English side despite coming up through the ranks at Parkhead.
Dublin boss Pat Gilroy has claimed all the pressure is on Kerry ahead of Sunday’s eagerly anticipated All-Ireland final clash at Croke Park.
Kerry will contest their seventh All-Ireland decider in nine years this weekend while Dublin haven’t won the Sam Maguire since the 1995 victory over Tyrone.
“There’s a huge expectancy in their county that they’re going to win this game,” said Gilroy ahead of Sunday’s big game.
“That’s what Kerry do and that’s what they’re expected to do. So there’s a fair bit of pressure on them to go out and perform because Kerry have done this all the time against Dublin teams over the past 20 years.
“They don’t want to be the first that doesn’t. There’s a fair bit of pressure on them to perform and with us it’s a new experience and people in Dublin are happy because we’ve got to a final.
“It’s progress, but from our own perspective we want to win the game.”
The Kingdom will start the game as red hot favorites, and Gilroy believes that tag is justified as his side seek their first championship win over Kerry in 34 years.
“I don’t remember a Kerry team coming into a final playing as well as they’ve played,” added Gilroy.
“They usually save their best performance for the last day so I think their form is very good, their first half against Cork, their second against Mayo were both top class performances.
“They’re deservedly in the final, no one’s really come near them bar Cork. I don’t see much weakness there compared to two years ago.”
Donal O’Grady’s brief tenure as manager of the Limerick hurling team is over after the Corkman opted not to extend his initial 12-month contract with the Shannonsiders.
O’Grady led Limerick to the National League Division Two title and to the All-Ireland SHC quarterfinals but won’t be staying on for another year in charge.
“I committed to a year and that’s what I was working towards in my own head,” O’Grady told the Limerick Leader. “Some people will say why didn’t I say so after the Dublin match, but I expected to win that game so hadn’t thought about the future.
“I took my time, and after the All-Ireland hurling final, which is kind of the end of the hurling year, I communicated my decision to the county board, I wanted to give it plenty of thought.
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