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Austin Stacks insist Kieran Donaghy will be perfect as Kerry captain

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Austin Stacks chairman Aidan O'Connor insists that Kieran Donaghy must be awarded the Kerry captaincy next year. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Austin Stacks chairman Aidan O'Connor insists that Kieran Donaghy must be awarded the Kerry captaincy next year. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Austin Stacks chairman Aidan O'Connor insists that Kieran Donaghy must be awarded the Kerry captaincy next year. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Kieran Donaghy will captain Kerry next year after his club confirmed yesterday that they will nominate him for the job.

The Kingdom still continues the tradition of awarding the county captaincy to their club champions, and Austin Stacks' return to glory on Sunday, for the first time in 20 years, has put the All Star full-forward in line for the role.

Stacks chairman Aidan O'Connor said the club are hopeful, on the back of their county title, of having more than Donaghy on Eamonn Fitzmaurice's senior squad next season.

He said the likes of Shane O'Callaghan, Fearghal McNamara, Wayne Guthrie and Greg Horan all have something to offer to the county in 2015.

But he stressed that whatever happens, Donaghy will be the Stacks nominee for the prestigious job.

"Kieran has to be Kerry captain next year, there's no doubt or question about it," O'Connor said.

"A lot of players might be burnt out by the time they're 31 but that's not the case with him.

"He was been plagued with injuries and is back to his best.

Enthusiasm

"He's also got so much enthusiasm for sport, of any kind. He is not your average 31-year-old and he's a fantastic leader in our team and our club."

The famous Rock Street club beat Mid Kerry in a replay on Sunday - their last title, in 1994, was also won in a replay in Killarney.

They now meet Cork champions Ballincollig in Munster and O'Connor said their players will suspend their celebrations to return to training tomorrow.

"Back in my own day our greatest tussles in Munster were always with Nemo Rangers. Ballincollig beat them by seven in the Cork semi-finals so that shows us how good they'll be," he said.

Elsewhere, Laois champions Portlaoise have pulled off a big coup by getting Zac Tuohy home in time for Sunday's Leinster SFC quarter-final against reigning All-Ireland champions St Vincent's of Dublin.

Team sponsors Laois Hire have paid to fly the Aussie Rules star home for the big game in O'Moore Park.

Tuohy, who has played for AFL side Carlton since 2010, lined out for Portlaoise in this year's county quarter and semi-finals but had to return to Australia before the county final, so getting him back is a huge boost.

"I hope to be able to contribute if called upon and, hopefully, we'll gain revenge for last year's final loss," Tuohy said.

Portlaoise have lost the last two Leinster club finals to Dublin opposition - to Vincent's last season and to Ballymun Kickhams a year previously.

Irish Independent