KERRY football star Marc Ó Sé announced his retirement from intercounty football. Speaking in an interview with his former teammate Dara Ó Cinnéide on An Saol ó Dheas on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta today, Marc discussed his family history in the game, his career highlights, his early playing days, his biggest regrets, Éamonn Fitzmaurice as manager, and his hopes for the Kerry team in 2017.
Marc said that he had made his decision to retire before the All-Ireland semi-final. “I suppose it was in my head for the year. Down through the years, I was very proud to play for Kerry, and I enjoyed having an influence on the team. I suppose I didn’t have that same influence this year, that’s what I felt,” he said.
“I might have had an influence in the dressing room, but every player wants to have an influence on the pitch...I wasn’t getting my place this year. I didn’t get my game in the Munster final...I was getting older, 36, and maybe the legs weren’t as good. I made the decision before the semi-final, that I’d see out the year with Kerry and then that would be it for me.”
In the interview, he recalled his delight at winning his first All-Ireland medal in 2004, a year when Colm Cooper, Paul Galvin, Aidan O’Mahony and several other players also got their first taste of All-lreland glory. “I felt then that the shackles were off then, we were able to go out and prove ourselves as players, and to go on and maybe win two or three more medals,” he said.
As for the highlights of his career? Marc said: “The quarter-final against Armagh in 2006. We had lost against Armagh in 2002, and it was very hard because Darragh was captain and he had been playing really well that year. The ones you lose, you always remember. Then when we got another chance against Armagh in 2005, we had a chance for revenge maybe. I don’t like to use that word, but maybe that day there was a bit of revenge. Darragh was unbelievable that day.”
The second highlight was the replay against Mayo in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final. “The supporters were unbelievable. I wasn’t starting that day, and I was really upset about it. Éamonn (Fitzmaurice) called me and told me I wasn’t starting, and I got an awful land,” he said.
“I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong at the time, but Éamonn’s point was that I wasn’t excelling. It was just the kick in the backside I needed. I had my mind made up that when I got my chance I would prove that he was wrong. Everything just worked out for me on the day. I was brought in after 20 minutes, because I think Shane Enright got a yellow card. I was really lucky, because if he hadn’t got the card then I mightn’t have been put on till the 65th or 70th minute maybe. I played well and we were in the final again. I really enjoyed that match.”
Speaking of the year 2014 he said: “Everyone was saying coming into 2014 that Éamonn Fitzmaurice would have to make a lot of changes, particularly the players over 30. But Éamonn was great about that. He had a word with each of us. He said that he was happy with us, and to keep it up. I have to give Éamonn credit, throughout 2013, ’14, ’15, ’16 he never led me to believe that he thought I was finished or anything like that...”
Asked if it was strange when Éamonn came in as manager, when he had previously played football with him, Marc said: “It’s something that’s always been in Kerry, to have respect for your manager. I know that things happened in Cork, and maybe in Mayo last year...but in Kerry it was always important to respect the manager. We were all very friendly, but when we were working, we were working. Éamonn is tough, and if he has something to say to you, he will. I think that’s great, it’s a talent.
“Any time he had something to say to me, he did it, particularly in this past year. I would be asking him for advice, what could I do, and he would advise me to concentrate on this and that. I have to give him full credit.”
He said that he had really enjoyed playing, right up to 2015 when he got injured after the semi final. “This year I didn’t enjoy it as much, that’s why I’ve made this decision, and it’s the right decision, I just don’t have the speed.”
He said that he thought Kerry have a great chance for the 2017 All-Ireland if they continue they way they have been playing.
His two big regrets are the All-Ireland finals in 2002 and 2011. “They’re always on my mind, as if they happened yesterday.”
The interview with Marc Ó Sé was broadcast on An Saol ó Dheas on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Marc O Se celebrates with cousins Padraig Og and Neasa O Se, (children of Paid O Se) after Kerry's victory over Donegal in Croke Park in 2014. PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE
Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s
By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]
By Sean Moriarty
Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.
Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.
The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.
Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.
His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.
“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.
Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.
The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.
“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.
The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.
The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.
“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.
The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.
Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland
By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]
By Sean Moriarty
A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.
Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.
Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.
“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.
“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”
For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.
“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”
The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.
“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.
“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”
It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.
She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.
“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.
“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”
She could not have done it without the help of her home club.
“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.
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