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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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Séamus Moynihan tops Kerry manager poll ahead of Jack O’Connor and Peter Keane

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by Adam Moynihan

Although it now appears as though he could be a selector on the Stephen Stack ticket, four-time All-Ireland winner Séamus Moynihan has topped our ‘Next Kerry Manager’ poll by collecting over one-third of the overall vote.

Around 37% of respondents said that Moynihan should be the next Kerry boss with 23% of fans backing former manager Jack O’Connor. The team’s most recent bainisteoir, Peter Keane, received 18% of the votes.

Another former manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, is next in line on 10%, although it is believed that he is not willing to return to the fold due to work commitments.

In addition to the four main candidates mentioned above, readers were also invited to nominate their own preferred candidate. This open field threw up 16 more names with former Kerry and Dr Crokes manager Pat O’Shea the most popular entry. The Killarney man received around 3.5% of the vote.

Donie Buckley got roughly half as many votes as O’Shea, and the other prospective managers ended up with less than 1% each.

MOYNIHAN/STACK

Glenflesk native Moynihan enjoyed a glittering playing career for The Kingdom between 1992 and 2006, the highlight perhaps coming in the year 2000 when he captained his county to All-Ireland glory. He has since taken on coaching roles with his own club and with Fossa and was part of Darragh Ó Sé’s Kerry U21 management team in 2015.

It had been suggested that Monaghan’s defensive coach Donie Buckley would be part of the Moynihan ticket. Buckley was also a member of Peter Keane’s backroom team, but Keane relieved him of his duties in the early stages of the 2020 season.

However, after this survey was completed, Tony Leen of the Irish Examiner reported that Moynihan and Buckley are, indeed, part of the same ticket, but the manager’s name attached is that of current Killarney Legion boss Stephen Stack.

Stack himself had a long and distinguished playing career with The Kingdom and as a manager led Austin Stacks to the County Championship in 2014 and Legion to an East Kerry Championship in 2019.

The Listowel native is also rumoured to be calling on Dara Ó Cinnéide and Mickey Ned O’Sullivan as selectors, with Joe O’Connor filling the role of strength and conditioning coach.

Stack was not considered to be a realistic candidate at the time of the survey; he was one of the 14 managers who received less than 1% of the vote.

KERRY SUPPORTERS SURVEY

Q: Who should be the next manager of the Kerry senior football team?

Séamus Moynihan 36.7%

Jack O’Connor  23.4%

Peter Keane 18.1%

Eamonn Fitzmaurice 10%

Pat O’Shea 3.5%

Donie Buckley 1.6%

Others* 6.7%

(Carried out online on September 21/22. 431 respondents.)

*Mike Quirke, John Sugrue, Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin, Jerry O’Sullivan, Maurice Fitzgerald, Tomás Ó Sé, Johnny Crowley, Stephen Stack, Kieran Donaghy, John Evans, Paul Galvin, Marc Ó Sé, Liam Kearns.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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