Tuesday 12 December 2017

Former Lilywhite Kavanagh to make inter-county return with Galway

James Kavanagh
James Kavanagh
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Former Kildare star James Kavanagh is set to revive his inter-county career by pitching in with Galway in 2014.

Tribesmen football manager Alan Mulholland has confirmed that Kavanagh (28), who is now living in the county, has joined his squad for gym training ahead of pre-season training, which starts for them later this month.

Kavanagh left Kildare prior to last season when he felt he couldn't give full commitment to Kieran McGeeney's panel.

Kavanagh's wife was expecting a baby at the time and a move to Galway, where they were building a house, was imminent.

He subsequently moved from his club Ballymore Eustace to Milltown, who he played with in this year's Galway club championship.

But at the time he distanced himself from speculation linking him to Mulholland's Galway squad.

After a year living in Galway now, he is ready to commit to them and Mulholland is looking forward to working with him.

"James has been in with us doing some gym work and we're delighted to have him," he confirmed.

"He's happy to give it a go with us."

Mulholland added that Kavanagh has been suffering from a knee injury, which was bothering him towards the end of his Kildare career.

"It's minor enough but provided that doesn't bother him... he's looking forward to it," added Mulholland.

Kavanagh was one of Kildare's most prolific forwards during the early part of McGeeney's time and developed a reputation for scoring spectacular points.

He was educated in St Jarlath's Tuam and captained the senior team during his time there, playing in the epic 2002 All-Ireland semi-final and replay against Jack O'Connor's Colaiste na Sceilge which they won before eventually being crowned Hogan Cup champions.

Kavanagh developed a good rapport with Michael Meehan that season and Galway supporters will hope that can be reignited 12 years on. He joins Galway at a time when Mulholland has changed his back-room team, with Donal O Fatharta stepping down for personal reasons and Alan Flynn concentrating exclusively on the U-21s.

Former All-Ireland winners Declan Meehan and Paul Clancy, who was previously a selector under Justin McNulty at Laois for a year, replace them.

Another interesting addition is Brian Talty, the former Galway midfielder who was an integral part of Paul Caffrey's management team in Dublin from 2005-08. Talty has agreed to come on board to work with Galway's Dublin-based players.

Former Galway manager Liam Sammon will act in an advisory capacity to the management along with Martin Conroy.

Irish Independent

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