Tuesday 25 April 2017

Kelly steps down as Kerry hurling boss after season of great progress

Eamonn Kelly's decision to step down as Kerry manager came as a surprise
Eamonn Kelly's decision to step down as Kerry manager came as a surprise
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry are searching for a new hurling boss after the surprise decision of manager Eamonn Kelly to step down.

Kelly has overseen great progress in the Kingdom's hurling fortunes over the last two years, culminating in promotion to Division 1B and acceptance into the Leinster Hurling Championship after their Christy Ring Cup success over Derry.

The Tipperary man, a native of Kildangan, twice steered Kerry to Division 2A successes but it was their victory over Antrim in a play-off in April which was arguably the highlight, earning them matches against Clare, Limerick, Wexford, Offaly and Laois next spring.

They will also enter the Leinster Championship's round robin section next summer where they will be involved with Offaly, Westmeath and Carlow in a race for a quarter-final place in the championship proper.

Kelly overcame the handicap of losing Darragh O'Connell, one of their best players, to Dublin this year and didn't have Shane Brick because of injury but was able to supplement his squad with the addition of goalkeeper James Logue and 2013 All-Ireland winner from Clare, Patrick Kelly, who has connections with Kerry.

With the jump to 1B however Kerry will not be able to call on their services.

In his first year Kelly had Brendan Cummins among his back-room team for some sessions but this year had another former Tipperary player Conor Gleeson who is thought to be among the early front-runners of the position.

The former midfielder is understood to have built up a good rapport with the players.

Meanwhile, Munster Council have confirmed that the Bord Gais Munster U-21 hurling final between Clare and Limerick in Cusack Park, Ennis on Thursday, July 30 at 7.0 will be an all-ticket affair.

The match is expected to sell out and the provincial body are advising supporters to pre-purchase tickets which go on sale from 10.0 this morning. They will also be available through clubs, Supervalu and Centra outlets as well as tickets.ie.

Irish Independent

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