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Foley back in for Munster final as Crokes pair also handed first starts

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by Adam Moynihan

Kerry full back Jason Foley is set for a remarkable return to the Kerry team after recovering from injury quicker than was originally expected.

Worried supporters were lighting candles for the Ballydonoghue man when he went down with a nasty-looking ankle ligament injury against Roscommon on St Patrick’s Day and it appears as though their prayers have been answered.

It was initially feared that the pacy defender was going to miss the entirety of the Munster Championship – if not some, or all, of the Sam Maguire group stage as well – but he has been named in Kerry's starting line-up for Sunday’s Munster final against Clare.

Foley has been an integral part of Kerry’s defence for a number of years, starting 44 league and championship games in a row before that awkward landing in Athlone almost seven weeks ago.

Tadhg Morley slipped back into the full back line while his teammate was in the treatment room but the consensus is that Foley will be needed to man the last line of Kerry’s defence if they are to mount a serious All-Ireland charge again this summer.

On Sunday Morley will return to his favoured centre back spot, freeing up Gavin White to slide out to the wing.

All-action win back Brian Ó Beaglaoich also returns to Kerry's starting 15. The man from An Ghaeltacht missed most of the league with a calf injury and he was unfortunate to pick up an illness during the team’s pre-championship training camp in Portugal.

Foley and Ó Beaglaoich replace Graham O'Sullivan and Seán O'Brien in Kerry's back six. O'Brien drops to the bench while the status of O'Sullivan is currently unknown. The Dromid player was a regular starter throughout the league but he will not be part of the matchday 26 for the trip to Ennis.

Back-up goalkeeper Shane Murphy gets the nod between the sticks with Shane Ryan taking the number 16 jersey for this one. It has been routine in recent seasons for management to give the second choice keeper at least one start in the league but Ryan played in all seven Division 1 matches this year, so it appears as though O'Connor is using this opportunity to hand the Dr Crokes stopper some minutes.

Up front, Murphy's Crokes clubmate Tony Brosnan also makes his first start of the season with Adrian Spillane making way for the nippy corner forward.

Clare manager Mark Fitzgerald (a Kerins O'Rahillys man) has also named his team for Sunday's provincial decider.

Key forwards Emmet McMahon and Aaron Griffin are named at 13 and 14. McMahon scored 1-3 and Griffin had five points from play in the Banner's easy win over Waterford in the semi-final

Kerry v Clare takes place at 1.45pm on Sunday in Ennis. The game will be live on RTÉ.

KERRY TEAM TO PLAY CLARE

1. Shane Murphy

2. Paul Murphy

3. Jason Foley

4. Tom O'Sullivan

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich

6. Tadhg Morley

7. Gavin White

8. Diarmuid O'Connor

9. Joe O'Connor

10. Dara Moynihan

11. Paudie Clifford

12. Cillian Burke

13. Tony Brosnan

14. David Clifford

15. Seánie O'Shea

Subs: Shane Ryan, Seán O'Brien, Adrian Spillane, Barry Dan O'Sullivan, Dylan Casey, Paul Geaney, Stephen O'Brien, Mike Breen, Killian Spillane, Darragh Roche, Armin Heinrich.

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Opponent gets 10-match ban for using discriminatory language towards Kerry player

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A rival player has been suspended for using discriminatory language in a match against Kerry FC, the League of Ireland has confirmed.

The FAI’s Independent Disciplinary Committee handed Harry Curtis of UCD a 10-match ban for the offence, which took place during the game between the two sides in Mounthawk Park, Tralee last week.

Curtis was sent off in injury time. UCD won the game 2-1.

“An Independent Disciplinary Committee of the FAI has sanctioned UCD AFC player Harry Curtis for using discriminatory language towards a Kerry FC player in the SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division fixture on 10 May 2024,” a League of Ireland statement read.

“The FAI and League of Ireland maintains a strict zero tolerance approach towards any act of discrimination and are committed to ensuring that League of Ireland matches remain a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.

“In accordance with FIFA Regulations and the FAI Disciplinary Regulations, Harry Curits will serve a 10-match suspension. Please note the decision of the Independent Disciplinary Committee may be appealed.”

Kerry FC issued the following statement welcoming the ban: “We condemn discrimination in football and are constantly working to kick it out of the game.

“Mounthawk Park and Kerry FC is a community where everyone is welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, and other diverse backgrounds.

“We would like to thank the Independent Disciplinary Committee in the FAI for their continued efforts and dedication to keeping discrimination out of the game.”

Last week Dundalk goalkeeper George Shelvey was also suspended for 10 games for abusing referee Rob Harvey.

Kerry FC were also involved in two alleged cases of racial abuse last season. In September, they claimed a Longford Town player aimed a “racial remark” at one of their players. The matter was referred to An Garda Síochána.

Earlier in the 2023 season, Kerry released a statement condemning racist online comments that had been made about the black players in their squad.

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TEAM NEWS: Kerry and Monaghan name starting 15s for Killarney showdown

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All-Ireland SFC Group 4

Kerry v Monaghan

Saturday 3pm

Fitzgerald Stadium

Live on GAAGO

Jack O’Connor has rewarded Munster final Man of the Match Tony Brosnan with a spot in Kerry’s starting 15 for Saturday’s All-Ireland group phase opener against Monaghan.

Brosnan kicked three points from play a fortnight ago and he retains his place in a forward division that also includes Dara Moynihan, Paudie Clifford, Seánie O’Shea, David Clifford and the recalled Paul Geaney.

Dingle veteran Geaney starts in place of youngster Cillian Burke, who drops to the bench.

Shane Ryan returns in goal instead of Shane Murphy while the back six and midfield remain unchanged from the seven-point victory in Ennis.

Graham O’Sullivan is a notable absentee from the matchday 26. The Dromid defender’s groin injury was described by O’Connor as “minor” after the Clare game, which O’Sullivan also missed.

Monaghan manager Vinny Corey has also named his side for tomorrow’s Sam Maguire encounter at the Fitzgerald Stadium and he has made five changes from the Farney Army’s last outing (the Ulster preliminary round defeat to Cavan on April 7).

Four of those switches come in attack as Stephen O’Hanlon, Micheál Bannigan, Michael Hammill and Seán Jones replace Garland, Irwin, Loughran and McCarron.

Experienced midfielder Darren Hughes, who was forced off with a knee injury in that match in Clones six weeks ago, is unavailable and is replaced by Micheál McCarville.

Rory Beggan starts in goal after a potential move to the Carolina Panthers in the NFL did not materialise. Talismanic forward Conor McManus will wear the number 15 jersey.

The last time these teams met was in the league at St Tiernach’s Park in February. Kerry prevailed on a scoreline of 3-15 to 1-12.

Tickets for Kerry v Monaghan can be purchased here for €25. Three-match bundles for the entire group stage are also available for €50.

The match will not be televised but it will be streamed on GAAGO.

KERRY TEAM

1. Shane Ryan

2. Paul Murphy

3. Jason Foley

4. Tom O’Sullivan

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich

6. Tadhg Morley

7. Gavin White

8. Diarmuid O’Connor

9. Joe O’Connor

10. Tony Brosnan

11. Paudie Clifford

12. Dara Moynihan

13. David Clifford

14. Seánie O’Shea

15. Paul Geaney

Subs: Shane Murphy, Cillian Burke, Seán O’Brien, Adrian Spillane, Barry Dan O’Sullivan, Dylan Casey, Stephen O’Brien, Mike Breen, Killian Spillane, Darragh Roche, Armin Heinrich.

MONAGHAN TEAM

1. Rory Beggan

2. Ryan Wylie

3. Kieran Duffy

4. Ryan O’Toole

5. Karl O’Connell

6. Killian Lavelle

7. Conor McCarthy

8. Gary Mohan

9. Micheál McCarville

10. Stephen O’Hanlon

11. Micheál Bannigan

12. Michael Hamill

13. Ciarán McNulty

14. Seán Jones

15. Conor McManus

Subs: Darren McDonnell, Jack McCarron, Stephen Mooney, Dessie Ward, Ryan McAnespie, David Garland, Jason Irwin, Andrew Woods, Barry McBennett, Joel Wilson, Thomas McPhillips.

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