Kavanagh insists Galway switch talk 'off the mark'
James Kavanagh has rubbished suggestions that he will be switching his inter-county allegiances to Galway this year.
The 27-year-old two-time All Star nominee announced last week that he was withdrawing from the Kildare panel, as his wife is expecting their first child and the couple are overseeing the construction of a new family home.
That house is in Milltown, in his wife Linda's native Galway, and it is this connection, allied with the fact that he has applied for a work transfer from his Garda base in Crumlin to the west, that led to speculation that Kavanagh might throw his lot in with Alan Mulholland's side.
This speculation is way off the mark, according to the international rules forward, who has been a regular with Kildare since making his debut under Padraig Nolan in 2005. The good news for Lilywhites supporters is that he does not consider his Kildare career to be over.
"There is nothing there with Galway at all," Kavanagh said. "It's obviously going to be said because I'm moving to Galway and leaving Kildare, but there's nothing in that at all.
"I am disappointed to be leaving the lads I have trained with for a long time. A bit of you feels that you're letting them down. But I have to make a decision for myself and I feel I've made the right decision for now. Whatever comes down the road, we'll see but this is the way it has to be for the moment.
"Linda's due our first child at the end of February and we've a house as good as built down here in Milltown and, with me being on shift work in Crumlin as well, it was all becoming a bit too much for me.
"I just feel that I couldn't give 100pc to it at the moment and at this level, it's all or nothing.
"I wouldn't consider myself retired. I just need to take a step back from it."
Galway, meanwhile, have suffered an early season blow with promising young midfielder Thomas Flynn ruled out for most of their league campaign.
The 20-year-old, who was in midfield when Galway won the All-Ireland U-21 title in 2011, has had to undergo a knee operation. The Athenry clubman went for routine surgery before Christmas but the discovery of further damage has ruled him out until March.
"He'll be struggling to make it back in the short term. His target is the first game of the U-21 championship, which is in mid-March against Sligo," said Mulholland.
Meanwhile, Kieran Donaghy has been passed fit for Kerry's McGrath Cup quarter-final on Sunday against UCC in Killarney after a precautionary scan on his knee revealed no damage.