Death of young player puts things in per­spec­tive for Kerry boss Keane

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - GAELICGAMES -

New Kerry foot­ball man­ager Peter Keane has said that he never dreamed of be­ing a se­nior boss and on a day when he should be elated he had just re­ceived news of a young player’s death that put his new job in per­spec­tive.

The 47-year-old, who led the county to the last three mi­nor All-Ire­lands, was speak­ing yes­ter­day at the Kerry Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Cur­rans dur­ing his first me­dia con­fer­ence since be­ing ap­pointed last Mon­day.

“I sup­pose there was a va­cancy and I be­came avail­able, I had a mi­nor gig and I was sup­posed to have a mi­nor gig again next year. You think about it in a happy way about what is ef­fec­tively my un­veil­ing to­day, but there was news that broke from Kil­lar­ney this morn­ing about a young fella called Niall McGil­ly­cuddy, who passed this morn­ing.

“He was a young un­der-16 player that played with the Le­gion and would have played with the Sem last year and I would have been look­ing at this fella as po­ten­tially play­ing with the Kerry mi­nors this year but most def­i­nitely play­ing with the mi­nors in 2019 be­cause he was un­der-17.

Pri­or­ity

“He got sick a cou­ple of months ago with leukaemia and it’s very sad to think that there was a young fella that you were look­ing at when there was no se­nior gig or any­thing like that. That’s the pre­dom­i­nant thought that’s in my head all day.”

Asked what would rep­re­sent suc­cess for Kerry in 2019, he replied: “I haven’t thought about it but my pri­or­ity is to sit down as a man­age­ment. We’ll try and put some kind of a panel to­gether and start crack­ing on from there and creat­ing some bit of a struc­ture.”

He de­flected the two most dif­fi­cult ques­tions. It was put to him that any­thing less than an All-Ire­land is not con­sid­ered a suc­cess in Kerry.

“Wouldn’t that be lovely,” he replied, “but there isn’t much point in I sit­ting here to­day talk­ing about that.”

The other is­sue raised was the prospect of Dublin’s po­ten­tial five-in-a-row next year, an un­par­al­leled feat in GAA his­tory and one that has fa­mously eluded Kerry in the past.

“I sup­pose I haven’t even a panel picked so where would I start on that one with­out a panel? That’s like dig­ging a field and you don’t even have a shovel. We’ll get the shovel first and then we’ll start think­ing about that one.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.