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Cycling club’s drive for better youth opportunities

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Killarney Cycling Club’s Stefan Caulfield-Dreier is in Holland this week contesting the U23 Track Cycling European Championships.

He is the second member of Killarney Cycling Club to make the Irish team and follows in the wheels of John Blackwell who was on regular Irish Track Team duty between 2004-09 but plans being hatched by the local club could make this a more regular occurrence.

Stefan, who lives in Beaufort, started cycling with the club in 2013/14 in the U12 category and enjoyed mixing his cycling with other sports for a number of years. Along the way he had many successes culminating in an U16 national time-trial title in 2019 and this year he won two silver medals at the Irish Junior Track Cycling Championships.

“Stefan’s dedication to his sport is a beacon to all our young riders and shows that love of sport and hard work can pay off. On behalf of everyone in the club I congratulate Stefan, his parents Heiko and Louise who have closely supported him, and his club mentors,” said club chairman Mark Murphy.

The European Track Cycling Championship concludes in Appledoorn on Sunday – see next week’s Killarney Advertiser for a full breakdown on Stefan’s results across a series of different races and competitions.

The Ireland National Junior Coach, Martin O’Loughlin, speaking from the squad’s training camp in Spain, said that Stefan will compete in both the team pursuit and individual pursuit, and hopefully the Omnium which is four bunch races in a single day. He also paid tribute to Stefan’s work-ethic.

“He has made a huge commitment to track cycling this year, travelling twice a week from Kerry to Dublin for training, and it has paid off for him,” said O’Loughlin.

FUTURE OF CYCLING IN KILLARNEY

Following Stefan’s inclusion in the Irish team for this week’s European Championships, the local club will launch a new scheme to ensure that young cycling talent in Killarney will continue to reach the top of the sport.

“In the autumn we will launch a new initiative to promote the retention of young riders in the sport and to give a supported pathway of progression from U16 to Junior and onto to U23 level,” Mark said.

“We are going to spare nothing in this regard and I would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters whose good will and financing make this type of outcome possible.”

One of the club’s prime reasons for pushing on with a dedicated youth scheme is as a result of COVID-19 restrictions that prevented club members from competing in major events.

“It is especially significant given the difficulties with COVID-19 as our excellent crop of Juniors – which we had nurtured up through underage years - have missed out on two years of top-level competition and opportunity, such as The Junior Tour of Ireland. They would possibly have been one of the strongest Junior teams in the club’s history,” he added.

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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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