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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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Fleming and Doherty top Killarney crew at Boggeragh

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The Boggeragh Rallysprint, organised by Cork Motor Club and based in the forest complex of the same name, took place over the Christmas break.

Based near the village of Nad, the event attracted a strong 60-plus car entry and was won by West Cork driver David Guest and his Millstreet co-driver Liam Moynihan in a Ford Fiesta Rally 2. The latter is a member of Killarney and District Motor Club.

The first all-Killarney crew to make the finish were David Fleming and Kieran Doherty in their Honda Civic. The Killarney-based crew finished 20th overall on what was only their second time competing on a gravel rally.

World Rally Championship launch

The new Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid that Craig Breen and Paul Nagle will drive in this year’s World Rally Championship is set to be unveiled on Saturday in Austria.

The World Rally Championship will undergo major environmental changes this year when new technical regulations drive the series towards a more sustainable future.

The season launch takes place at Red Bull’s headquarters near Salzburg ahead of the first round of the WRC, next week’s Rallye Monte Carlo, as a new era for the sport dawns.

Breen and Nagle will be in attendance and the launch will be live streamed on WRC.com

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Killarney Valley athletes rubbing shoulders with the best

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Killarney Valley AC continued their upward curve last Sunday when they entered men’s and women’s teams in the prestigious National Indoor Track and Field Championships, which were held in Abbotstown in Dublin.

Despite going up against the best of the best in terms of Irish athletics, the Killarney Valley contingent gave a good account of themselves at the state-of-the-art National Indoor Arena, with coaches Tomás Griffin and Con Lynch coming away with plenty of positives to reflect upon.

The women’s team was comprised of Sarah Leahy, Ciara Kennelly, Alison Butler, Grace O’Meara, Ellen Moloney and Melissa Ahern, while the men’s team included Conor Gammell, Oisín Lynch, Kevin O’Callaghan, Sam Griffin, Jason O’Reilly, Dara Looney and Darragh O’Leary.

The nature of the team event presents a number of challenges and opportunities for the forward-thinking club, as coach Tomás Griffin explained to the Killarney Advertiser this week.

“The indoor league is senior elite level so you’re competing against really strong athletes, including some Olympians,” Griffin said. “Part of the criteria is that you try to cover as many of the events as you possibly can within all of the athletic disciplines. You compete as a team, as opposed to normal athletics competitions which are very much based on the individual.

“If you are 16 or you turn 16 in the year of competition, you can participate. That allows us to give our up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to compete as part of a representative team alongside our more established, older athletes.

“There are two rounds with half the events in all disciplines covered in Round 1 and the other half in Round 2. Last week in Round 1 the track events were the 50m sprint, the 200m sprint, and the 800m, along with the 4 x 400m relay. So, for those events alone, you have to have sprinters and you have to have middle distance athletes all stepping up to compete against one representative from all the other clubs.

“The field events were the shot putt, the long jump, and the pole vault. You can see there you’ve got to have a pretty diverse club that is trying to focus on as many disciplines as possible on the development sides of things.”

POINTS

Individual athletes earn points based on where they finish in their event (12 points for first etc.), with points tallied together to make up the team’s overall total. There are 12 clubs vying for the women’s title and 13 fighting for the men’s. After Round 2, which takes place on January 23 in Athlone, the top six clubs will advance to the finals.

The demands that such a competition place on a club mean that it is a major achievement to be able to take part at all. Apart from Killarney Valley, Leevale AC from Cork were the only other club in Munster who fielded a team.

“For us to have enough athletes of that age or above, that are competent enough in their disciplines to be able to represent us and compete – and score – is a significant breakthrough. We scored quite well across some of the events. There were some events that we struggled to cover because we’re still trying to develop the full range, but as a club we know that we need to develop those disciplines.

“And we have some younger athletes who are 13 or 14 and they’re now learning pole vault, for instance. If we can maintain the momentum then we will have pole vaulters in a couple of years’ time.”

ENJOYMENT

Griffin says the Killarney Valley competitors really enjoyed the experience, while also putting in some impressive performances.

“They loved it. The bigger powerhouse clubs have very high-profile athletes at their disposal; there were four Olympians whom our athletes got to compete against and interact with.

“Our own Sarah Leahy did exceptionally well in the 60m sprint. She ran the joint fastest time in the league, a personal best of 7.61 seconds, which is the fastest she has ever run 60m indoors.

“In the men’s 60m sprint, Conor Gammell made the top five and ran a personal best. We also had Sam Griffin, who is normally a long jumper, who ran a personal best of 7.58 seconds. He finished third in his race. Dara Looney, another long jumper who was doubling up on sprints, finished fifth and also had a personal best.

“Melissa Ahern, an up-and coming sprinter, ran 8.43 seconds, and Ellen Moloney, who was a first-timer at this level, ran a personal best as well. We have a good batch of sprinters competing and it’s good to expose them to this level.

“Alison Butler scored some valuable points for us in the 800m, and in the men’s 800 Oisín Lynch ran a massive personal best. Our shot putt thrower Kevin O’Callaghan is new to athletics; he had to throw an adult shot (7.2kg) for the first time and he did well, scoring five points for us. In fact, he threw the heavier weight nearly as far as he had been throwing the lighter weight.”

Griffin was keen to stress the importance of each individual team member to the overall group effort and whatever happens in Round 2, he is convinced that entering the competition will have huge benefits in the long run.

“We set ourselves of goal of having a team at National League level by 2023 so we’re a year ahead in that regard. It shows that we’re on the right trajectory.”

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