Murphy: management need 'latitude' during transition

Jason O'Connor

Kerry GAA chairman Tim Murphy has appealed for 'latitude' to be given to the Kerry senior team management in the aftermath of the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Mayo.

Speaking at Monday's County Committee meeting, Mr Murphy didn't directly address manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice's future as team manager but the indications would seem to suggest that Fitzmaurice will stay on for the second year of the two-year term he is presently serving.

"There has been a lot of commentary in the media (about the manner in which Kerry lost) but I would ask delegates to realise that it is very important to remember that Kerry is going through a transition period.

"People need to allow the management team a bit of latitude over the next while to bring the undoubted talent that we have at underage level through to senior level. It doesn't happen by waving a magic wand and I think there is time required.

"The management team needs to be afforded the time and the opportunity to bring those players through to fruition," Murphy said of the situation pertaining to the senior management.

His comments come as Jack O'Connor was officially ratified as the manager of the county's first ever Under-20 team following on from the previous role as Under-21 team manager.

The most noticeable change in the back-room team sees three time All-Ireland winner Johnny Crowley of Glenflesk replacing Declan O'Sullivan as a selector. This is Crowley's first role with the county at senior level as O'Sullivan steps down after three years involvement between the Minor and U-21 set-ups. He is managing his club Dromid Pearses' senior side at present.

Meanwhile, County Secretary Peter Twiss expressed some dissatisfaction that the upcoming Special Congress on the Hurling Championship will also discuss a motion to change the Juvenile grades to odd numbered years - U-11, 13, 15, 17 - from the present even age set-up, which will effectively see the eligibility age span in each case reduced by one year.

Mr Twiss said such a move was being foisted upon counties as there was no request to discuss such a proposal in advance, even though the Club Forum earlier in the year had indicated a desire to remain with even age groups.

• Kerry's Padraig O'Sullivan has been appointed as one of the linesmen for the All-Ireland Senior Football Final between Dublin and Mayo. The Firies official will join referee Joe McQuillan and standby referee Conor Lane as the three main officials in charge.

• Wicklow's Anthony Nolan has been appointed the match referee for the All-Ireland Minor Football Final between Kerry and Derry on Sunday week.