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Adam Moynihan selects his Killarney Athletic Dream Team

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Killarney Advertiser Sports Editor Adam Moynihan selects his perfect XI made up of the best players he has played with in the blue of Killarney Athletic.

 

 

Brendan Kealy

Brendan is obviously better known for Gaelic football but he’s an exceptional soccer keeper too. I’ve played in games that we should have lost by three or four but Kealy kept us alive singlehandedly, and we went on to snatch a draw or a win as a result. An elite shot stopper with unbelievable distribution.

Michael Moloney

One of my oldest friends and teammates, Smiler was a rock at the back for us at schoolboy level. His height alone made him a valuable asset in both penalty areas but he was also a terrific defender who could play his way out of trouble if necessary. He normally played in the centre but he was so mentally strong he could do a job for you anywhere.

Mike Stam O’Donoghue

Stam and myself played together all the way up and he was always a great teammate. He was a very versatile and dependable player who added a strong, physical presence to every team he lined out for. An integral part of our team in 2016/17. I don’t think we would have won the league without him.

Paudie O’Connor

Paudie was a warrior and probably the most competitive guy I ever played with. Very vocal (it seemed like he was always complaining but I think it was just the tone of his voice!) and when the chips were down, he always stood up to the challenge. A great leader.

Brian O’Reilly

One of the first names on the teamsheet for me. Reilly has given Athletic unbelievable service down through the years and he has always represented his club with pride. No matter how bad things got, he never stopped encouraging and guiding the players around him. An outstanding teammate and a serious baller too.

Jamie Doolan

Jamie is (I’ll use the present tense – I’m not retiring him yet!) one of the most skilful players I’ve ever been on a pitch with. He’s the type of guy that you always want on your team in training because he’s very technical and has a good head for the game. He’s hardy as well and can mix it if needs be.

Shane Doolan

The elder Doolan is definitely one of the top two or three players in the county and he has been for a long time. He’s two-footed, he’s a very good passer and he’s brave in the tackle and in the air. Could quite easily have played at a higher level.

Kieran O’Leary

Another Woodlawn Park boy. Leary was a key member of our Athletic teams underage and he also played a central role in our All-Ireland wins with the Sem. He had great feet and he was a fierce competitor who was always desperate to win. Athletic’s loss was Crokes’ gain – which is unfortunate on many levels!

Will Courtney

I often play left back behind Will and the tactic is fairly simple. Give him the ball and stay out of his way. A phenomenally talented dribbler with a frightening turn of pace, he’s capable of creating a goal for himself out of absolutely nothing. He never tracks back, but he’s good enough to get away with it.

Diarmuid O’Carroll

As strong as we were at schoolboy level, Diarmuid was always head and shoulders above the rest of us and it came as no surprise to anyone when he signed for Glasgow Celtic. He had every physical and technical attribute you could ask for and, above all else, his attitude was exemplary. He’s a coach at Motherwell now but I’m still hopeful that he’ll come back and finish his career with Athletic!

Shane Lynch

It was a toss-up between Lynch and Daithí Casey for the final slot but in the end I went for work-rate over skill! Nah, in fairness to him, Lynch is a very talented footballer. We go way back and I was always happy when he was on my team because A) he’s a quality player and B) he’s filthy and I wouldn’t fancy playing against him.

 

Subs - Éanna Kavanagh, Cian Tobin and Daithí Casey

 

Managers - Ger O’Brien and Pat Moynihan

Along with the likes of Joe O’Carroll and Mikey O’Sullivan, Ger and my dad took us on some great adventures all over the country when we were kids. In addition to coaching us on the pitch, they always put a big emphasis on discipline and professionalism and I think that really stood to us, both at the time and later in life.

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‘There’s definitely more in me’ – Leahy feeling positive after close-run thing at nationals

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Kerry woman Sarah Leahy chats to Adam Moynihan about her recent outing at the National Outdoor Championships in Dublin. The Killarney Valley AC sprinter competed with the best of the best, including new Irish record holder Rhasidat Adeleke.

Adam Moynihan: You recently took part in the 100m final at the National Championships. How was that experience for you?

Sarah Leahy: Atmosphere-wise it was absolutely amazing. Just very good energy all around. And coming out for the final, obviously, Rhasidat brought a massive crowd. So that was really cool to be a part of because I don’t think there’s ever been a crowd that big at nationals before. To be in the final where so many people were there to watch her was obviously amazing.

What about the race itself?

I came fifth and ran a time of 11.74. On the day, with the whole excitement of it all, I was actually really happy with that. I was a bit disappointed but I was like, it’s a great day overall. I ran well, didn’t get a medal but I was really close. I didn’t get the perfect start like I did in the heat. So I was a little bit behind, but I just managed to come fifth in the end.

A week on, the excitement has kind of worn off, and I think there’s definitely a lot more in me. I could’ve pipped the third place But yeah, it is what it is. It was still good. I’m happy with it.

It was very tight for third place, wasn’t it?

Yeah, it was two-or-three-hundredths of a second and it was a blanket finish for four of us. So it was close but no cigar. Not this time. I came fifth last year as well, so I was hoping for at least fourth this year, but it ended up being the same. At least it wasn’t sixth! And there’s definitely more in me as well. Time-wise I’m just waiting for it to kind of happen a little bit. I believe it will. It was amazing to be in a race where a national record was broken.

And the standard was obviously very high across the board. All the big names were there.

It was a very high standard, yeah. Going in we kind of knew that first and second were gone (to Adeleke and Sarah Lavin). Everyone else was battling for that third medal and only one person could get it in the end. (Mollie O’Reilly got the bronze.) We were all close.

But overall I was super grateful to be in the mix, especially in a race that was that big. It’s one that will go down in history. It was a massive weekend and it was very enjoyable.

Rhasidat is a massive superstar now. What’s it like to run alongside her?

Rhasidat is a great athlete and a very nice girl. As you can see in interviews, she’s very humble. So to compete next to her, to literally be running in the lane right beside her, was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for more from the day in that respect. I thought she might have ran sub-11 because she did it before but she still got a national record. To be part of that race was a big deal for me.

Athletics in Ireland seems to be in a good place, particularly after the success the Irish team had in the recent European Championships in Rome. Does it feel like the sport is getting more attention and more recognition these days?

Oh 100%. Support for athletics has grown hugely in the last few years and I think it’ll continue to grow, especially with the success that Ireland had at the European Championships. I think the Olympics this year is going to drive that on even more because we have such great athletes going. The support is growing and rightfully so. The athletes are really getting the recognition they deserve. I think the future is very exciting for athletics in Ireland.

What about your own career? What’s next for you?

I have one last race of the season left, which is at the AAI Games on Sunday in Dublin. I’m hoping to just get a good run out, a good time, and execute the race well. Training will continue until the end of July, I’ll get a month off, and then we’re back training for indoors next year. I love indoors. I think I excel at that. There’s European Indoors and World Indoors next year, so to qualify for them would be a huge, huge goal.

As for outdoors, I’d like to get on the Irish relay team, but I’ll be focussing on indoors first. It should be a good year.

Are you enjoying it?

Yeah, I’m really enjoying it. I think sometimes you might put too much pressure on yourself and try to get a PB in every race but this year I’ve really learned that I’ve done the training, so it will happen when it happens. Just go out and run and let your body do its thing. And I’m actually really enjoying competing this year. I know I’m going to continue enjoying it for the next few years.

With the surrounding support of the club and coaches and my training group, it’s all going really well for me at the moment. I have no complaints at all. I’m very lucky.

Thanks for your time, Sarah, and all the best for the rest of the season.

Thank you very much, Adam. It was lovely talking to you.

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Kingdom ladies hoping for repeat performance against Royals

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LGFA All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final

Kerry v Meath

Saturday 5.15pm

Austin Stack Park

Live on TG4

Just like they did in 2023, the Kerry ladies will take on Meath in the All-Ireland quarter-final in Tralee this weekend and a repeat of the result they earned that wintry day 12 months ago will do just fine.

Last year’s encounter at Stack Park was a classic game of two halves as the home team ran up a 10-point lead with the unseasonable elements at their collective back.

Meath, who at the time were on the hunt for their third All-Ireland in a row, fought back admirably in the second period but the Kerry women held firm and won by four (2-8 to 0-10) after an emotionally charged final quarter.

Síofra O’Shea was Kerry’s top scorer on the day with 1-1 and her return from injury in recent weeks is a major boost to Darragh Long and Declan Quill’s squad.

The Kingdom made light work of Meath when the sides met in the league in March as Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh kicked 0-8 in a 1-15 to 0-5 victory. Shane McCormack’s charges subsequently lost to Dublin in the Leinster final by 18 points before finishing second to Armagh in the All-Ireland group stage.

Marion Farrelly, Emma Duggan and Meadhbh Byrne caught the eye in their recent win over Tipperary, combining for 2-11 of the team’s total of 2-15.

Former Player of the Year Vikki Wall could be in line for a dramatic comeback after a spell with the Ireland Rugby Sevens team.

As for Kerry, they should arrive at the last eight in decent spirits having put in their best display of the season so far against Waterford three weeks ago. The Munster champions were excellent and eventually ran out 4-13 to 0-9 winners with skilful forward Hannah O’Donoghue (1-3) and all-action half back Aishling O’Connell (0-2) particularly impressive.

Meath are a capable opponent on their day, though, so another professional performance will be required if Kerry want to keep their All-Ireland dream alive.

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