Kerry unease over junior venue

World Cup final to clash with Kerry's game with Galway

Jason O'Connor

Despite some disgruntlement with the choice of Navan as the venue for Saturday's All-Ireland Junior Football Semi-Final between Kerry and Kildare, Kerry will not be appealing the decision of the GAA's CCCC to fix the game as a curtain raiser for Saturday's Round 4 Senior Qualifier between Kildare and Fermanagh at the same venue.

Kerry Junior manager Jimmy Keane expressed his disappointment that such a venue was chosen for the match just over a week and a half after Kerry won their fifth consecutive Munster Junior Final with Cork. However, he said that the focus has to now switch to the match itself.

"I think it's very unfortunate that we are talking again about a choice of venue after everything that happened in the Kildare and Mayo situation. My disappointment is that the interests of Kildare appear to have been looked after here more than ours considering their seniors are playing at the same venue.

"We would feel that there are suitable venues halfway between the counties where the game could have been played and that the game shouldn't have created any major logistical problems as a stand-alone fixture.

"I feel sorry for our South Kerry players who are facing a near 500-mile round trip and 10 hours travelling to play such an important game for them," Keane told The Kerryman.

An overnight stay around the fixture is not an option for the set-up according to Keane, who also has to deal with the unavailability of Daniel Daly (injury), Andrew Barry and Patrick Clifford for Saturday's encounter.

Of course the main event on Saturday evening in Navan will determine who will come to Killarney on the August bank holiday weekend to play Kerry in their 'Super 8s' home game.

The Kingdom's opening fixture for the Super 8s has been confirmed for Sunday, July 15 at 4pm in Croke Park, a direct clash with the World Cup final in Moscow that afternoon.

That decision was taken after The Kerryman had spoken with County County Committee Chairman Tim Murphy on Tuesday afternoon, but the Brosna man did say the county will do their best to avoid a clash with the Under 20s All-Ireland semi-final with either Dublin or Kildare on the same weekend.

When asked about the possibility of a Kerry game in the Super 8s appearing exclusively on Sky Sports - less likely now given the clash with the World Cup final one would imagine - Mr Murphy said it is a matter that the county has no control over.

"Whatever games Sky Sports decides to broadcast is totally their own and something they were given the right to do so when the most recent deal was agreed," the County Chairman said on the issue.

Despite the controversial deal with the British subscription TV service being in place since 2014, no Kerry fixture has been broadcast exclusively on the service, but with play in the Super 8s likely to take place over both Saturday and Sunday, it is highly likely a Kerry game will feature exclusively on Sky.

Provincial finals, as well as All-Ireland semi-finals and finals, are protected internally by the GAA for 'free-to-air' broadcast in the case of the former, while government legislation covers the latter part of the All Ireland series being shown on a 'free-to-air' service.

The final make-up of Kerry's Super 8s group will be confirmed this weekend, with the winners of the qualifier games between Laois and Monaghan, and Kildare and Fermanagh, taking up the final two places in the group alongside Kerry.