Saturday 21 September 2019

Conway's UCC duty a thorn in O'Connor's side

Kerry manager Fintan O'Connor
Kerry manager Fintan O'Connor

Daragh Small

Kerry hurling manager Fintan O'Connor has accepted he may be without star man Shane Conway for a big chunk of his side's league season due to Fitzgibbon Cup commitments with UCC.

The 20-year-old Lixnaw full-forward scored four points against All-Ireland champions Limerick in their recent Munster league clash but O'Connor has resigned himself to the fact that Conway will miss some important games.

Kerry will open their NHL Division 2A campaign away to Antrim on January 27 but it remains to be seen if Conway will be available.

"Shane Conway, who is probably our only Fitzgibbon player definite to play all of UCC's games, is down to play four games in 10 days," O'Connor said.

"The Antrim game for us is a big game and he is one of our marquee players. You would want him involved but we can't expect him to train or do anything. It's very hard."

Kerry finished third in Division 2A of the NHL last season, just two points behind eventual champions Carlow. They also ended up just two points off Carlow and Westmeath who advanced to the final in the Christy Ring Cup," O'Connor added.

"In the league there's Westmeath, Antrim, ourselves, Meath, it's just real competitive. Teams are on a similar enough level so anyone can win and lose on any given day. It's hard for me but great from a neutral's point of view."

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