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Kerry fans bemoan tactics after shock championship exit

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Last Saturday’s disappointing All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tyrone has left Kerry football supporters questioning the team’s tactics, a survey carried out by the Killarney Advertiser has revealed.

The Kingdom fell to an agonising one-point defeat after extra time, despite being strong favourites to advance to the final following an impressive run throughout the National League and Munster Championship.

This is the second year in a row that Kerry have exited the championship earlier than expected and, for the second year in a row, fans are citing the side’s tactical approach as one of the main reasons for the unexpected loss.

The open-ended question “What went wrong for Kerry against Tyrone?” was put to supporters by the Killarney Advertiser and, of the 280 responses, 28% explicitly mentioned “tactics”, while a further 11% suggested that “management” was the cause of the defeat.

One frequently submitted criticism was that the team “didn’t have a Plan B”.

Meanwhile, 13% of replies cited the players’ on-field “decision-making”. Trying for goals instead of taking easy points accounted for the bulk of these responses.

Attitude, individual errors, defence, team selection, conditioning, preparation, forwards, the referee, and an over-reliance on David Clifford and Seán O’Shea were some of the less common “reasons” offered up for the defeat.

DISSATISFIED

Looking at the campaign as a whole, almost one-in-five supporters are apparently ‘satisfied’ (16%) or ‘very satisfied’ (2%) with Kerry’s season. Of the remainder, 55% said they were ‘dissatisfied’ and 27% said they were ‘very dissatisfied’.

Kerry manager Peter Keane has reached the end of his three-year term and it is not yet known if he will be seeking an extension. When asked if Keane should be given another year (or more) at the helm, 77% of respondents suggested that he should not, with 23% stating their belief that he should be given another shot.

Looking to the future, 43% of those polled think that Kerry will bounce back from this year’s disappointment to win the All-Ireland in 2022. Around three out of ten are predicting that 2023 will be our next All-Ireland-winning year, with a similar number stating that it will be 2024 or after before Sam returns to The Kingdom.

PLAYERS

After a remarkable season which included a string of Man of the Match displays, Paudie Clifford has been singled out by supporters as Kerry’s Player of the Year. The Fossa and East Kerry forward picked up a whopping 49% of the vote with his brother, David, next in line on 19%. Seán O’Shea (17%) and Gavin White (12%) also received a significant number of votes.

Unsurprisingly, our readers have also selected Paudie as the Newcomer of the Year, although Mike Breen of Beaufort was another strong candidate in this category.

End-of-Season Kerry Supporters Survey (conducted online by the Killarney Advertiser)

1. Who deserved to win Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final?

Kerry 11%

Tyrone 89%

2. What went wrong for Kerry against Tyrone? (open-ended question)

Tactics 28%

Decision-making (players) 13%

Management 11%

Attitude 10%

Individual errors 7%

Defence 7%

Team selection 6%

Other 18%

3. How do you feel about Kerry's season as a whole?

Very satisfied 2%

Satisfied 16%

Dissatisfied 55%

Very dissatisfied 27%

4. Should Peter Keane be given another year (or more) at the helm?

Yes 23%

No 77%

5. Who was Kerry’s Player of the Year?

Paudie Clifford 49%

David Clifford 19%

Seán O’Shea 17%

Gavin White 12%

Tom O’Sullivan 2%

Jason Foley 0.5%

David Moran 0.5%

6. Who was Kerry’s best “newcomer” in 2021?

Paudie Clifford 91%

Mike Breen 7.5%

Kieran Fitzgibbon 1%

Paul O’Shea 0.5%

7. Who do you think will win the All-Ireland?

Tyrone 42%

Mayo 58%

8. Who do you hope will win the All-Ireland?

Tyrone 16%

Mayo 84%

9. When will Kerry win their next All-Ireland?

Next year 43%

2023 29%

2024 of after 28%

Sport

Killarney set for festival of football at Spa GAA’s Club 7s

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The third annual Killarney Club 7s tournament will be staged next weekend (June 1-2) at Spa GAA grounds with 36 clubs and over 500 players due to take part.

The hugely successful event has already become a popular fixture of the local sporting calendar with large crowds flocking to Tullig for two days of football and entertainment.

With Heineken as title sponsors and support also coming from the likes of Kellihers Toyota, Killarney Credit Union, Sheahan’s, GMIB.ie, Daly’s SuperValu and O’Callaghan Coaches, attendees will be treated to top quality food and drink on site, as well as a wide array of live music. Acclaimed group Chasing Abbey are the headline act on Saturday with Super Céilí rounding things off on Sunday night.

On the pitch, men’s and women’s teams from all over the country will compete for €10,000 in prize money.

Matches will be played across three excellent pitches, all of which can be easily viewed from all areas of the grounds.

The group stages will be played on Saturday with the knockout rounds scheduled for Sunday. Participating teams include Confey from Kildare, St Finbarr’s from Cork, Castleknock from Dublin and, all the way from Germany, Berlin GAA.

The hosts Spa won the 2023 men’s final in dramatic fashion when a last-gasp goal saw them beat Cuala in front of a boisterous crowd.

Free shuttle buses will be running to Killarney when the festivities wind down at 10pm each night.

For more information, visit killarneyclub7s.ie.

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Fierce rivals Celtic and Athletic set for tense Kerry District League final

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Killarney Celtic’s dominance of the local junior soccer scene appears to show no signs of letting up after the Derreen-based club added more silverware to their cabinet last Sunday – but their fiercest rivals are hoping to rip up the script in this weekend’s league final.

Last week the Hoops defeated Tralee Dynamos in the final of the Greyhound Bar KO Cup to make it six-in-a-row in the county’s most prestigious knockout competition.

Lee Downing was the hero on the day as he scored twice in the first half to put his side in the ascendency. In the end, that was enough to get the job done as the Killarney lads held on for a 2-0 win.

The Celts have the opportunity to complete another league and cup double this weekend, although they will be pushed all the way by a talented young Killarney Athletic outfit in the Premier A final.

The match will take place on Sunday at 4pm in Mounthawk Park in Tralee and Brendan Moloney’s Blues will be eager to bring their neighbours’ remarkable run to an abrupt end.

Athletic will unfortunately be without stalwart Shane Doolan who recently suffered an ACL injury.

Supporters of both clubs are urged to make the journey to Tralee and get behind their teams for one last time this season.

The Killarney Athletic B team play Iveragh United in the Tommy Healy Cup final replay at the same venue at 1pm.

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