by Adam Moynihan
The Scotts Lakers (St Paul’s Killarney) are ramping up their preparations for the new National League seasons and on Monday they announced the signing of 6’3” American guard Eric Cooper Jr.
California native Cooper Jr played college ball at Pepperdine University and the University of Nevada. He has previously represented Bayer Giants Leverkusen in Germany. His father, Eric Sr, also played professionally in Europe.
“I’m excited to be here,” Cooper Jr told this journalist on Wenesday. “I’m ready to get started and have a great season with the guys.”
Head coach Jarlath Lee says Cooper Jr is “a solid player and a terrific shooter”.
“He’s good from mid-range and three-point range,” Lee told the Killarney Advertiser.
“He’s different to what we had last year. He’ll be a shoot-first sort of player.
“I expect good things from him.”
The Lakers get their 2022/23 campaign up and running with a home game against the Limerick Sport Eagles on Saturday, October 1.
Crosstown rivals the Killarney Cougars are also in action the same day; they travel to the Barrow Centre to take on SETU Carlow (formerly IT Carlow).
The two Killarney clubs will meet on November 12 in the Pres Gym and in the reverse fixture on January 28 in the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre.
Survey reveals Kerry fans’ expectations for 2023
A start-of-season survey carried out by the Killarney Advertiser has revealed Kerry supporters’ expectations ahead of the 2023 campaign, which gets underway on Sunday with a league match against Donegal.
Kerry enjoyed a perfect year in 2022 as Jack O’Connor led his team to glory in the National League, Munster Championship and All-Ireland Championship. It would be an incredible achievement to replicate that success again this time around, but some supporters seem to think that it can be done.
Around 73% of those polled believe that Kerry will reach another All-Ireland final, with the majority (42%) predicting that Sam Maguire will be staying in the Kingdom for another year at least. Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) think that Kerry will fall at the semi-final stage, however, with the remainder (4%) anticipating a quarter-final or round robin exit.
1. How far will Kerry go in the championship?
All-Ireland round robin – 1%
All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%
All-Ireland semi-final – 23%
All-Ireland final (runners-up) – 31%
All-Ireland final (winners) – 42%
That’s what supporters expect to happen, but what would they be happy with? When asked what would constitute a “good year” for Kerry in 2023, 54% stated that only an All-Ireland will do. A further 32% said they would be content with another All-Ireland final appearance. So, effectively, the vast majority of Kerry supporters (86%) won’t be happy unless their team at least makes it to the All-Ireland final on July 30.
2. Kerry need to ___________ for 2023 to be classed as a “good” year.
Reach the All-Ireland round robin stage – 1%
Reach the All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%
Reach the All-Ireland semi-final – 10%
Reach the All-Ireland final – 32%
Win the All-Ireland final – 54%
Neighbours Cork gave Kerry a real hiding in the McGrath Cup at the beginning of this month but it appears as though fans from this side of the county bounds are placing little stock in that particular result. Over 96% of supporters expect Kerry to win their provincial championship. A very small minority (3%) are fearing the worst, i.e. Cork winning Munster.
3. Who will win the Munster Championship?
Kerry – 96%
Cork – 3%
Someone else – 1%
Expectations are lower for the immediate future, however. With several players out injured and others – including star player David Clifford – being rested, most fans reckon Kerry will finish mid-table in Division 1 of the National League. Over half of the readers who responded to our survey (52%) think Kerry will finish 3rd or 4th in the eight-team pool, with roughly one-in-five expecting a 5th or 6th place finish.
Despite the lengthy list of absentees, 21% of supporters are still optimistic that Kerry can retain their Division 1 title. At the other end of the scale, around 1% think Kerry will be relegated.
4. Where will Kerry finish in Division 1 of the National League?
1st or 2nd (winners) – 21%
1st or 2nd (runners-up) – 8%
3rd or 4th – 52%
5th or 6th – 18%
7th or 8th (relegated) – 1%
When asked which opponent they are most wary of heading into the new season, the vast majority of Kerry fans singled out the same Division 2 team.
5. Which opposition team should Kerry be most worried about in 2023?
Dublin – 78%
Tyrone – 7%
Armagh – 6%
Cork – 3%
Derry – 3%
Mayo – 2%
Galway – 1%
Jack O’Connor’s side travel to Ballybofey on Sunday for their first competitive outing of the season. Throw-in is at 2pm with the match being televised live on TG4.
Follow @AdamMoynihan for all the latest Kerry GAA news
“Argentina have Messi but we have the Messiah”
By Michelle Crean Calls for full civic reception for David Clifford Superstar footballer David Clifford has been compared to Argentina’s Messi. At Monday’s full Kerry County Council meeting councillors were full of […]
By Michelle Crean
Calls for full civic reception for David Clifford
Superstar footballer David Clifford has been compared to Argentina’s Messi.
At Monday’s full Kerry County Council meeting councillors were full of praise for both the Fossa and Rathmore teams who won their respective finals a day earlier in Croke Park. Fossa became the All-Ireland Junior Football Champions when they beat Stewartstown Harps, while Rathmore secured the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football title.
Cllr Mike Kennelly said “we are currently witnessing the greatest footballer ever” as he called for a full civic reception to honour David Clifford.
“I think he’s the greatest inspiration to every Kerry person. We, as an authority, as a county need to acknowledge this. We need to acknowledge David’s greatness and inspiration on his unrivalled success over the last 12 months. Argentina has Messi but we have the Messiah and we’ve got to protect him and honour that. Most people will agree with us that he is the greatest we have ever seen.”
However, cautiously Cllr Cahill added that it’s better to hold a civic reception for both teams rather than single out one player.
“I’m not too sure about singling out David. Maybe talk to the family on that. Paudie got an All Star this year and last year and was Man of the Match at several games. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it but tease it out a little bit further.”
The matter was referred to the CPG.
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