WHILE there was relief in the Kingdom this week that Cian O'Neill will take up the position of the Kerry team's physical trainer, there was understandable regret at the news that an outstanding Kerry coach's abilities, those of former Kerry coach Donie Buckley, will be utilised not in the Kingdom but instead by the Limerick football fraternity.
The Ennis based Castleisland man is to assume the role of Director of Underage Football in the Shannonside county it emerged this week. Buckley will be responsible for the development of training programmes for players from Under 14 up to minor level according to the Limerick Leader and, while he will take coaching sessions, his primary role will be to coach the coaches.
"It is a most welcome development for underage football in the county," said Limerick GAA secretary Mike O'Riordan told the Leader this week.
"Donie is a very skilled individual and hopefully his role can lead us to success."
There had been speculation – and it could yet to come pass – that Mayo boss James Horan, who has recently been reappointed for a further three year spell after leading his men to the All Ireland football final this year, was eager to bring the Kerry native on board in the role that new Kerry trainer Cian O'Neill vacated after the loss to Donegal.
There was also speculation this week that another hugely successful Kerry coach, Mick O'Dwyer, could be on his way back into inter-county management – this time with Clare. It has been reported that the Waterville man held discussions with Banner County officials in recent weeks. A County Board meeting was due to be held last night [Wednesday] in Ennis and it is thought likely that the manager's position will be discussed.
O'Dwyer wouldn't be the first Kerry man to hold the role of course with Donie Buckley, John Kennedy, Paidí Ó Sé and John O'Keeffe having previously held the reins of the county's football fortunes.
Meanwhile, the Irish Independent reported on Tuesday that former Kerry star Tommy Walsh was to remain down under for the foreseeable future. The Kerins O'Rahillys clubman has a further two years remaining on his contract with the Sydney Swans and the Tralee man intends to see out the rest of his contract with the club.