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Brian Spillane picks his Killarney Celtic Dream Team

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Former Killarney Celtic defender and current senior manager Brian Spillane picks a fantasy team made up of the best Celts he has ever played with.

 

GK - Roy Kelliher

Roy is a quiet lad on and off the pitch but his qualities are there for everyone to see. He’s fearless and he comes for everything, and he’s also a great shot-stopper. The thing with Roy is that the bigger the game is, the better he plays.

RB - Alan Nagle

Alan was really calm under pressure and he never let the team down. He had a fantastic first touch and great quality going forward – he was one of the few players in Kerry who could get the ball and go past three or four players. He didn’t always have the finish to go with it, though!

CB - David Hayes

The best defender I ever played with. David was excellent in the air and he could control the backline. He was a good ball-carrier as well. He knew how to break lines and open up the opposition.

CB - John McDonagh

John McDonagh, better known as Smiley, is our current club captain. He’s very good with the younger players. The fact that he’s left-legged is also a bonus as it adds great balance to the back four. The man has won seven league medals, which says it all really.

LB - Brendan Falvey

Mr Celtic. You always get 100% commitment from Brendan Falvey. He’s the best trainer at the club. He’s very competitive and an absolute warrior, especially in the big games. Heart in the mouth stuff when he slides into tackles!

DM - Matt Keane

This guy has an amazing passing ability. He always wants the ball and he controls a lot of games. Matt is a box-to-box midfielder and he follows the play everywhere. He has a great engine – he just never stops running.

DM - John Doyle

When it came to soccer, the late John Doyle had it all. He wasn’t the tallest but he was brilliant in the air, he always picked the right pass and he scored so many vital goals when his team needed them the most. A born leader on the field but, above all else, a great man.

RM - Stephen Hayes

Nickamed Helmer, Stephen has always been a very underrated player in my book. Blessed with pace, he would have been the main outlet for us on many occasions. He’s very versatile and could play any role for the team. He has had a long career with Celtic and Kerry in the Oscar Traynor Cup and he’s still playing and coaching. A great clubman.

AM - Gary Keane

There’s not too much you can say about Gary that hasn’t been said before. I’ve been involved with soccer in Kerry my whole life and he is without a doubt the best player I’ve ever played with. He does the work of two players and he’s unbelievable on the ball.

LM - Jimmy Falvey

The late Jimmy ‘Grimble’ Falvey was a very busy footballer. Similar to his younger brother, Brendan, in that he never pulled out of a tackle. I certainly wouldn’t fancy playing on the right-hand side of the opposition’s team with the two Falveys on the left! He always covered a lot of ground and would provide great support to the full back, while also offering a lot going forward.

ST - Peter McCarthy

Peter was the most professional player I have ever seen. He was always the first to training and the last to leave. He never stopped working on his game so it was no mystery when he popped up with winning goals. He would still score 30-plus goals a season if he was playing now.

 

Subs - Vladimir Sirotiak, Pa McGrath and Jamie Spillane

 

Managers - Karl McMahon and Noel Brosnan

Karl and Noel have managed and been involved with many a Celtic side down through the years. They were always fully committed to the senior team and are great supporters to this day. They both have a lot of respect for each other and they get on very well, which is vital in any management team. Sorry Noel. It’s a tough job but someone has to mind Karl!

 

 

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Glorious weather for Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships

It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough […]

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It was a day of glorious sunshine yesterday (Sunday) as Flesk Valley Rowing Club hosted the 2022 Kerry County Coastal Rowing championships for the very first time in beautiful Castlelough Bay on Lough Lein.

Hundreds flocked to the Valley shore to see the coastal clubs of Kerry race in crews from Under 12 to Masters. As well as clubs from around the Ring of Kerry, there was a strong representation from the Killarney clubs with the Workmen, Commercials and Fossa wearing their colours with pride. The atmosphere, colour, fun and fierce competition produced a spectacular day that will live long in the memory.

The event was opened by the Councillor John O’Donoghue, vice chair of the Killarney Municipal District who congratulated Flesk Valley on their centenary, which occurred during 1920, and wished all of the clubs a successful day’s racing.

The first race was preceded by a special blessing of the boats by Fr Eugene McGillycuddy, who also remembered Brendan Teahan of Cromane Rowing Club in his prayers.

Afterwards John Fleming, chair of Flesk Valley, expressed his immense pride and satisfaction with the success of the regatta.

“It’s our first time ever hosting a regatta, but we wanted to do something special to mark our 102 years in existence,” he said.

“It was a lot of work, but we have a fantastic hard-working committee in Flesk Valley who really pulled out all the stops to make it happen, and we received fantastic support from our members, parents, other clubs and local businesses.”

John also thanked the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association, in particular Mary B Teahan and Andrew Wharton, and the staff of the Killarney National Park for all their support and encouragement in hosting this event.

This was a qualifying event and the Kerry clubs will be heading to Wexford next weekend to complete for honours at the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

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Live referee mics should be the norm – swearing concerns be damned

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by Adam Moynihan

I was disappointed to learn that the GAA are preventing TG4 from using their live referee mic in this Sunday’s Wexford hurling final.

(And not just because I had already written an article saying how great live referee mics are and how they are sure to be implemented across the board. Ctrl + A. Delete.)

TG4’s GAA coverage is superb and they raised the bar once again when they mic’d up referee John O’Halloran for the Kerry hurling final between Causeway and Ballyduff.

Pinning a microphone on the referee is standard practice in televised rugby and judging by the positive response to Gaelic games’ first foray into this territory, I was expecting it to become the norm.

It still might but, explaining their decision to The 42, the GAA said that they were not aware beforehand of the ref mic being trialled in Stack Park on Sunday.

“They believe such a development will require more discussion and education if it is to be implemented on a more regular basis in live TV coverage and could possibly need a policy change,” Fintan O’Toole reported.

The image of the Association is surely the primary concern here.

Players and managers – usually the worst behaved participants when it comes to things like swearing – will be among those who get “educated” on the subject. Some verbal abuse that might otherwise be muted for television viewers will, in all likelihood, be picked up by the referee’s microphone. You would imagine that the teams involved will be reminded of this the week of a televised game.

It also makes sense from Croke Park’s point of view to speak to referees and give them guidance on how to conduct themselves when the mic is on.

In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if senior GAA figures are currently fretting over the possibility of an agitated ref making headlines for something they say in the heat of the moment. And make no mistake about it, some match officials can eff and jeff with the best of them.

A friend of mine (a Wexford man, funnily enough) recalls an incident when a teammate was unceremoniously taken out of it by an opponent.

“Ah ref, for f***’s sake!” the victim complained.

“I gave you the f***ing free,” the referee replied. “What do you want me to do, slap him in the face with a wet fish?!”

The GAA might think that a referee swearing like that would leave all of us red-faced. In reality the clip would be a viral sensation and the general public would probably call for the official in question to run for Áras an Uachtárain. (He’d get my ****ing vote.)

The odd swear word from someone involved is bound to sneak through every now and then but you’d hear the same – and plenty more – at any match you attend from Cahersiveen to County Antrim.

Implementing the referee mic on a wider scale is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t appear to take a huge amount of effort or expense for the broadcaster to set it up and, more importantly, it offers a wonderful insight into the unknown.

Listening to referees explain their decisions in real time will clear a lot of things up for commentators, analysts and the media. We will no longer have to speculate about what they did or did not see, or what specific rule is being cited, or why.

Viewers, especially those who might be casual followers of the sport, will appreciate it too and become more educated; I know that’s how I feel when I watch rugby, for example.

It just leads to greater transparency and understanding.

Well done to TG4 and the Kerry County Board for being the pioneers. I’m sure others will follow their lead – as soon as the GAA allow them to do so.

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