A new survey on the current state of the Kerry District League has revealed that long seasons and the scheduling of fixtures are amongst the issues of greatest concern to soccer players right across the county.
The ongoing survey, which is being carried out by the Killarney Advertiser, has been filled out anonymously by a number of team captains with further contributions expected in the coming week.
When asked to share their teammates’ biggest concerns, the majority of captains mentioned the length of the soccer season in Kerry, which frequently runs well into the summer months.
“Players in successful teams are still playing matches throughout the summer period, they only have a short break and then the new season starts again,” one skipper said.
In 2017, the Reserve Cup final was played on August 14. The 2017/18 season began a little over two weeks later on September 1 and finally concluded over 10 months later on July 17.
The number of games that teams need to play varies depending on how far they progress in cup competitions but by way of example, Killarney Celtic have played 28 games so far this season and have the Premier A and Greyhound Bar KO Cup finals to come. That’s 30 games in total.
Critics of the current Kerry soccer schedule say that it shouldn’t take 45 weeks to play 30 games, especially when many clubs would, on occasion, be open to playing more than one game per week.
The erratic scheduling of fixtures has also been criticised by players, with the current practice of arranging games 5-7 days before they’re due to take place proving to be quite unpopular.
Clubs can often go a number of weeks without any fixtures at all, which is a source of frustration for a lot of players who would naturally prefer regular matches once the season begins.
One captain said he and his teammates would like to see fixtures being arranged a month ahead of time “to make sure teams are playing a game every week or every two weeks”.
“The fixtures are sporadic and don’t allow players time to plan,” another player said. “The season is far too spread out and Gaelic football impacts heavily on clubs at the end of the season.”
These sentiments were echoed by another club captain.
“Granted it’s not an easy job, but the fixtures and how they are made are a bit of a joke.”
Captains were also tasked with answering a series of ‘yes or no’ questions in relation to KDL top brass but at the time of going to print, there was no clear consensus on whether or not players were generally happy with the way the league is being run.
Unfortunately, a number of clubs could not be reached through their Facebook pages while others seemed reluctant to take part in the survey at all.
One club, when contacted through Facebook, refused to participate, another immediately said that no players were willing to speak and I have very good reason to believe that another filled out the player survey without actually consulting any of their players.
Every captain I spoke to directly was extremely helpful but when I had to go through the clubs I found that a few simply wanted nothing to do with it. Some were great to deal with in fairness but the impression I’m getting is that clubs don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet, which is a shame because it would be interesting to hear what players in Kerry really think about the league.
The survey is still open so I would be hopeful that more teams will use this opportunity to make their voices heard. If your captain has not yet been reached and would be willing to participate, please contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (@AdamMoynihan). All feedback will remain anonymous.
Relegation battle has town divided
By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]
By Sean Moriarty
This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.
After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.
In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.
Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.
Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.
“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.
“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”
Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.
“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”
Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.
The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.
Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.
Handball off the wall in Killarney
By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]
By Con Dennehy
The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.
On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.
“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.
Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.
Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.
One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.
Relegation battle has town divided
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