Monday 23 April 2018

Ó Sé faces challenge to his reign as Kerry boss


PÁIDÍ Ó SÉ looks certain to face a challenge to his position as Kerry football manager.

Ó Sé has been in charge of the team for the last six years, but his reign was thrown into doubt this week after the County Board were forced to alter their normal procedure for appointing their county manager.

In a dramatic move, clubs in the county will now be entitled to nominate candidates for the position.

With Kerry football still reeling following their annihilation by Meath in the All-Ireland semi-final, Ó Sé will now almost certainly have to see-off at least one rival candidate if he is to remain in charge of the Kingdom.

County Chairman Sean Walsh had intended to continue with the normal procedure and to set up a special three-man sub-committee, comprising of himself, the vice-chairman and secretary, who would put forward a name for ratification presumably Ó Sé at the October 8 meeting of the board.

However, at Monday night's meeting of the county board, delegates insisted that the clubs should be allowed submit their own nominations, arguing that the post should be open to all interested parties in the county.

Following a long debate, Walsh relented and it was agreed that clubs could submit their nominations by tomorrow week, September 21, and that these would then be vetted by the special sub-committee.

"We will talk to all interested parties and will put a name for the new manager before you for ratification at the October 8 meeting," Walsh told delegates.

Meanwhile, Tipperary's evergreen attacker Declan Ryan may not, after all, have made his last appearance in the blue and gold jersey.

Prior to lining out for the All-Ireland hurling champions in last night's GOAL challenge against Clare, the 33-year-old Ryan revealed that he had not yet decided to close the door on his illustrious inter-county career.

"I won't be rushing into a decision, and the fact that the National League does not start until next March lessens the urgency about the situation. In the meantime, I'll continue to play with my club," said the veteran full-forward who shot a point and set up a goal for Mark O'Leary in last Sunday's clash with Galway.

Ryan will make a quick return to competitive action when he lines out for Clonoulty-Rossmore in the West Tipperary semi-final against Cappawhite on Sunday week.

But regardless of the result of that game, his club have already booked their place in the county quarter-finals, by virtue of being one of the four sides to come through from the league section.

Regarding the All-Ireland win, Ryan said: "I think that it was a major advantage that Nicky (English) was given a third year in charge, as it takes a long time for players and manager to get to know one another, and to build up confidence.

"The two previous managers, Tom Fogarty and Len Gaynor, had been given two years, so it was great that Nicky got three.

"I definitely appreciated this All-Ireland more than the wins in 1989 and '91 I suppose this happens as you get older.

"But until the final whistle went, I was worried that my second half wide, when I was shooting for a goal, might cost us the match," he said.

Elsewhere, the Longford county final between Fr Manning Gaels and St Mary's, Granard, can go ahead on Sunday at Pearse Park (4.0), after beaten semi-finalists Abbeylara withdrew their objection to Gaels' player James Breslin, who lined out against them in the penultimate tie.

On the camogie front, Kilkenny's hopes of winning their first Foras na Gaeilge All-Ireland senior title since 1994 received a boost yesterday when Marina Downey and Kelly Long were both passed fit to play in Sunday's final against Tipperary at Croke Park.

Downey, who had a back injury, was listed at corner-forward when the team was named yesterday, while Long has recovered sufficiently from an infection to take her place at centre-back.

Offaly also named their team to play Tipperary in the junior final yesterday. Catherine Byrne, who plays her club camogie in Toomevara, comes in at corner-back, with Marcella Nugent dropping to the subs' bench.

KILKENNY (All-Ireland Senior Camogie final v Tipperary) C Ryan; M Maher, S Costelloe, M Costelloe (capt); E Kennedy, K Long, E Maher; B Mullaly, L Lyng; S Millea, M Maher, I Kennedy; C Doherty, A Neary, M Downey: Subs: J Dillion-Maher, B Barneville, S O'Gorman, T Millea, P Comerford, M O'Connor, M Lawlor, K Kinahan, B Grennan, J Frizby, F Dowling, L Crennan, L Comerford.

OFFALY (All-Ireland Junior Camogie final v Tipperary) F McLeish; C Byrne, A Kelly, C Carroll; M Molloy, M Bergin, M Crean; A Glennon, M Wyer; S Carroll, M Davis, E Dermody (capt); J Feighery, M Lynch, S Daly. Subs: A Bergin, A Hennessy, M Nugent, P Dooley-Carey, T Keoghan, S Sullivan, O Carey, C Hinch, V McGarry, L Higgins.

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