News from the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland this week.
Keane angry over Kerry ouster
Ousted Kerry boss Peter Keane has claimed his players wanted him to stay as the dispute rumbles on over the appointment of former manager and All-Ireland winning coach Jack O’Connor as his replacement, a move that was ratified at Monday night’s virtual County Board meeting.
O’Connor quit his role as Kildare supremo after admitting his interest in the Kerry job on an Irish Examiner podcast and was then offered the Kingdom role just days later, a move that has been criticized by several pundits.
Now Keane, who had come to the end of his three-year contract to manage the Munster champions, has added fuel to the fire in a statement released to the media which claims the current Kerry squad wanted him to continue in the job and see out the “project” they were working together on.
“All the players communicated to the County Board subcommittee their strong preference for the present management to be retained,” said Keane said in his statement. “It’s most disappointing that their wishes do not appear to have been considered in the decision-making process.
“Unfortunately, losing the semifinal this year by one point in extra time to the eventual All-Ireland winners Tyrone led to a decision to end the work we had started and the momentum we had built.
“I know the players very much wanted us to continue with our project. They were the reason I wanted to stay. We were a united Kerry team with a great sense of purpose and ambition.
“The players are a credit to their families, partners, clubs, and communities. I wish them every success in the future as they start out again. It has been a very tough time for everyone over the last while.
“During my term, we had two very unusual GAA seasons. It was fantastic to start seeing fans back at games again. I will now re-join the Kerry supporters in the stands and the terraces, and I want to thank all the wonderful Kerry supporters who have given us such fantastic backing over the years.”
County Board Chairman Tim Murphy hit back at the criticism surrounding the appointment of O’Connor at Monday night’s meeting when he denied reports that a decision had been made before interviews were held for the position.
Murphy said, “The suggestion about it being a done deal going back three or four weeks ago is again totally erroneous, totally untrue and totally unfounded. It’s put out there in the media by individuals for whatever reason I have no idea. They want to undermine us as a selection committee, as a county committee and an executive.
“And I find it very disheartening and very disconcerting that people would actually believe that five people of the integrity and the character that were on that selection committee would in any way sully the reputation of Kerry in any form or fashion. I think it’s disgraceful, it’s the lowest of the low.”
Former Waterford hurler Stephen Molumphy has been appointed as the new Kerry hurling team boss on a two-year deal, with Pat Bennett and Shane Briggs ratified as selectors at the County Board meeting on Monday.
Ryan Ready for Lilywhites
New Kildare team boss Glenn Ryan wants to go back to the future and relive the success he enjoyed under the legendary Mick O’Dwyer now that he is in charge of the Lilywhites.
Ryan was Micko’s captain in arms as he led Kildare to two Leinster titles and an All-Ireland final appearance in the late 1990s during his second term in charge of the county.
Now Ryan wants to emulate the Kerryman as he looks forward to the new season and the chance to lock horns with a Dublin side on the decline in the battle for provincial honors.
“When Micko came to Kildare first, Dublin was our big stumbling block. They beat us in a league final, they beat us in a Leinster final, they beat us after a replay in the first round,” said Ryan.
“For a number of years, Dublin was the only team that may have beaten us, other than Louth. In Micko’s second coming, our first success was in 1998 in beating Dublin in the first round of the championship. That brought about great belief and a great excitement among players and supporters.
“Dublin are the stumbling block for most teams now and Kildare has been unfortunate to be in the same province. It’s also a good opportunity to get yourself to a level and try and beat them when the opportunity arrives.
“We will be doing our best to do that, but there will be plenty of other teams chomping at the bit also. If Mayo showed anything this year, it’s that there may be a little chink in the armor and all teams in Leinster will be looking to try and find that.”
*This roundup first appeared in the October 6 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.
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