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Smalltalk: Brendan Kealy

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Ahead of Sunday’s eagerly anticipated Intermediate Championship final, Adam Moynihan caught up with Kilcummin’s All-Star goalkeeper Brendan Kealy

Congrats first of all on your win over Templenoe. It was hard-fought to say the least…

It was. Jeez, it was a very tough game. Templenoe are a good team, very strong. They’ve been unlucky the last few years so we knew it was going to be tough and it would probably go to the wire. Luckily enough, we came out on the right side of it in the end.

What do you think was the key?

Kevin McCarthy’s goal gave us a lift when we needed it. They had their purple patch in the first half as well and we didn’t really perform, but to go in just three points down playing against the breeze… I suppose things could have been worse. We knew that if we could perform in the second half, we were still well in the game.

How influential has Kevin been this season?

Kev is playing good stuff now at the moment. He’s obviously inside with Kerry and he has much more potential to reach as well, no doubt. He’s doing well but in fairness there are other guys there. There’s been a nice spread across the team. But he’s a great lad to have around the place.

Your backs forced a lot of turnovers down the stretch. Is that kind of intense tackling one of your strengths as a team?

Yeah, I suppose it was a frantic kind of game, especially towards the end. I don’t know was there too much method to the madness; it was just doing what needed to be done and the lads stood up well. But Templenoe were unlucky. The ball could have bounced another way once or twice and it could have been different.

You’re now 60 minutes away from bouncing back to senior at the first time of asking. Were there any fears after last year’s relegation that things might go backwards again?

We have had a couple of disappointing years. We were down numbers and stuff. But sometimes you need to take a step back to go forward and that’s what happened last year. I suppose that fear is always at the back of your mind that things could get worse - it can be a slippery slope when you do start sliding. We were just conscious at the start of the year to halt the slide and try and reverse it.

We’re in a final now and it’s a bonus. We would have been happy to just consolidate this year but we’re there now and we’ll see how it goes.

How important is it for Kilcummin to get back to senior level? 

It’s not a big, huge talking point or anything. I know it’s the oldest cliché in the book but we’re just playing each game as it comes. It’s not that it’s this big thing to get back senior. We were senior for 20 years and it’s obviously great to play at the top level of football - in Kerry, of all places, it’s a privilege - but we just wanted to get the show back on the road this year and get lads back enjoying their football. We’ll see where it takes us.

Glenflesk stand in your way in the final. What do you make of them as a team?

They’re a good East Kerry club with a good tradition and they’re really building something again now. They’re a young team with some dangerous players like Lee O’Donoghue, Darragh Roche, Jeff O’Donoghue… Those lads are as good a player as you’ll come across in the county. Denis Reen has gone in there this year and they’re taking things to the next level. You have to admire what they’re doing out there.

We played them in the league and the game could have gone either way but it’s going to take a very, very good performance for us to be there or thereabouts the next day. We know that. Glenflesk will probably be favourites.

On a personal level, you decided to step away from the Kerry fold last year. How have you found not being involved with Kerry after such a long time? 

Yeah it was obviously a bit strange at times, especially at the start of the year when you’re normally going through the slog. But it was great to be back and going through that slog with the club, which I haven’t been able to do for a long number of years. Just to be able to get back in with your friends and put the head down, shoulder to the wheel and really try to give something back to the club. It has been really, really enjoyable.

I think the way the fixtures have been played there in the month April, from a club point of view, has been great. We’ve picked up momentum and it has been more enjoyable rather than the scattergun approach before where you might have a game every couple of months. But I’m really enjoying where I am at the moment.

Stepping away from the county has also allowed you to explore some other avenues. You’re coaching with Offaly and you’ve set up a YouTube channel for goalkeepers. How are those ventures going? 

The coaching is a brand new experience. It’s something I thought that down the road I’d like to get into and an opportunity came along sooner than I thought it might. So I said, “look, we’ll go for it”. I have family connections up in Offaly as well so it seemed like a good fit. I’m fortunate that I’m still playing while also getting the experience on the coaching side of things at intercounty level. So yeah, really happy and just soaking it all up.

The YouTube channel is just something that myself and Kieran (Fleming) started up as there was a real interest from a lot of young goalkeepers in particular who want to improve but for various reasons aren’t able to get the coaching they need. I started @thegaagk on social media as a place where goalkeepers can get tips and training ideas for when they are on the training field themselves. It’s very enjoyable and the feedback has been great so far so we’ll stick at it and keep trying to help.

All the best with everything, and good luck in the final on Sunday.

Thanks Adam!

 

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The Michael Commins Country Shows are Killarney bound

The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and 30. For over a decade these shows have captivated audiences […]

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The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and 30.

For over a decade these shows have captivated audiences in Galway and Mayo and this marks the first time they have travelled outside the western province.

Well known promoter, Tom Kelly from Ballina, who was manager of Brendan Grace for 27 years, and who also promotes the concerts of Johnny McEvoy, Mike Denver, Isla Grant, Dan McCabe and others, noticed the market for these country shows in recent years.

“The response of audiences to the Michael Commins Shows in the Salthill and Clayton Hotels in Galway and also in Claremorris and Westport has been phenomenal and I realised right away that these shows would have huge appeal outside the province,” Tom Kelly said.

“Where better a place to start outside of Connacht than in the famous Gleneagle INEC, the heart of Irish tourism and a huge venue for Country Music down through the years. We are being inundated with requests for tickets for both shows with people travelling to Kerry from all 32 counties on the island of Ireland, with some making the journey from England and Scotland and America as well.”

Michael is a journalist, radio and TV presenter from Mayo who for four decades has been promoting traditional Country Music across the western province and around the country through his newspaper columns.

His songs have been recorded by numerous artists including his great and cherished friend, the late Big Tom, along with a host of Irish singers as well as Leona Williams (ex-wife of Merle Haggard) and John Rex Reeves, nephew of the legendary Jim Reeves.

His concert shows have been described by Waterford singer, Paddy O’Brien, as the “most unique, authentic, down-to-earth and homely” country shows on the island of Ireland. The Killarney nights look set to deliver in style on Paddy’s summation of these amazing shows.

LINE UP

The show on Monday August 29, features Brendan Shine, Gerry Guthrie, Art Supple, Tony Kerr, Louise Morrissey, Lisa Stanley, PJ Murrihy, Matt Keane, Olivia Douglas, Aisling Rafferty, Ross Molloy, Paudie McAuliffe, Gavin Gribben, Noreen Ashe, and the Ryan Turner Band.

The Tuesday night sees another brilliant line-up featuring John Glenn, Declan Nerney, Sandy Kelly, Paddy O’Brien, Eddie Lee, Annmarie O’Riordan, Thomas McBride, Pat McKenna, Muriel O’Connor and Fran Curry, Mick Mulhern, Elle Marie O’Dwyer, Aoife Leonard, Matthew O’Donnell, Kevin Prendergast, Richard Mulligan, the Ryan Turner Band and Billy Condon.

Tickets are selling fast and are now available from the Gleneagle INEC box office (064 6671555), ticketmaster.ie, and from Patsy on 086 1551841.

And the Killarney Advertiser has two pairs of tickets for the Michael Commins Country Shows up for grabs.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets just answer the following question in the comments section by heading over to our Facebook page:

Name one of the female artists on the Michael Commins Concert Shows?

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Beaufort GAA launch car raffle fundraiser

By Sean Moriarty Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training pitch. The club took delivery of the new car this […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training pitch.

The club took delivery of the new car this week and the first tickets for the raffle were sold at Puck Fair.

Tickets are available from any member of Beaufort GAA at a cost of €25 each or three for €60.

The growing club needs new winter training facilities for its men’s, ladies and juvenile teams.

“We found that our current pitch was getting badly cut up in the winter and autumn and felt this new all-weather was the way to go,” club chairman, Neil Doherty, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We started selling this week at Puck and so far the response has been very good.”

Ticket will remain on sale until next year with a draw date set for around Easter time.

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