Star-studded line-up for annual Kick Fada
THE BIG kickers come into town on Saturday week (September 13) for the ninth annual MBNA Bray Emmets Kick Fada at Old Conna grounds knowing that a national title and a celtic cross is at stake.
Traditionally it has been something of a goalkeeper-fest but this year the outfielders will make a renewed assault on the title in the hope of doing the business.
It is with great joy we welcome the record holder Mark Herbert back. Mark was the initial trailblazer in this competition and his 72metre kick to win the second Kick Fada in 2001 is likely to stay for a long time.
Dublin’s Mark Vaughan has threatened to come through and win the competition over the past three years and if he were to go all the way, it would make up in some measure for the disappointment of the Tyrone defeat.
A top class team is currently being assembled for the competition now that the All-Ireland runners is down to Kerry and Tyrone. Fermanagh’s Liam Barron has been a consistent supporter of the Bray competition and is expected to be joined by fellow county man Marty McGrath this year. Among the former winners competing will be two-time champ Pádraig Kelly from Offaly and Mayo’s Fintan Ruddy with last year’s holder John Brennan from Carlow also in the mix
The dark horses for the competition may come from Kildare as Mick Wright showed great form before going out last year and former Sunderland youth star Shane Harte who almost won the competition three years ago before being edged out by Kelly.
With the Bray Senior footballers playing in the county semi-final against St Pat’s on the following day, the local interest will rest on the shoulders of goalkeeper Paul O’Keeffe, who in the past has challenged for ultimate honours and has a third as a best finish.
There will be hurling and camogie games around the pitches at Old Conna too.
Long kicking is an art form and on Saturday week, we hope you enjoy the Sportfest put on by the best in this discipline throughout the country. Unlike other competitions requiring distance, the MBNA Kick Fada also requires the added component of accuracy – the goal width is twice that of an ordinary G.A.A. goal – meaning only those with kicking finesse can hope to challenge for the ultimate accolade.
List of likely participants: John Brennan – HOLDER (Carlow), Mark Herbert (Kildare), Padraig Kelly (Offaly), Paul Hearty (Armagh), Liam McBarron (Fermanagh), Mark Vaughan (Dublin), Mick Wright (Kildare), Marty McGrath (Fermanagh), Shane Harte (Kildare), Enda Murphy (Kildare), Shane Duffy (Monaghan), Tom Kelly (Laois), Darren Magee (Dublin), Gary Connaughton (Westmeath), James Masters (Cork), Paul O’Keeffe (Wicklow), Daithi Regan (Meath), Jonny Magee (Dublin), Mick O’Keeffe (Dublin).