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Tommy Walsh: I always felt the fans’ support

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by Adam Moynihan

Tommy Walsh has spoken of his positive relationship with Kerry supporters over the course of a memorable intercounty career that ended with his retirement in 2021.

The Tralee native won two All-Irelands and an All-Star during his time in green and gold and he was a popular figure amongst the county’s football fans, often receiving big ovations when introduced off the bench in recent seasons.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser at the launch of Guinness 0.0’s ‘Yours for the Taking’ campaign, Walsh said that although Kerry supporters have a reputation for being critical, he always found them very encouraging.

“I wouldn’t say I felt [the support] any more than any of the other lads, but I always got on very well with Kerry fans. I live in Tralee and I travel around the county and I always enjoy my interactions with them.

"Whether I was coming off the bench or I was starting, I always felt their encouragement and support, and it does make a difference.

“When people are wishing you well and you’re seeing the signs and things like that around the place, it always gives you that extra pep in your step.

“Kerry supporters would have a name for being critical, but I suppose that’s because they know their football, and they have high standards from what has happened historically. I meet people walking around the streets and everyone is generally very, very positive. They’re only wishing you well. But there is always going to be expectation there.

“The lads inside [in the Kerry squad] are well aware of that as well. Hopefully they can have a good year, and then the expectation will be even higher next year. That’s just the way it works.”

The Kerins O’Rahillys player believes that the current Kerry team are in a “good place” heading into the All-Ireland series. Should supporters be optimistic?

“Kerry fans are always optimistic, aren’t they?! [The team’s form] creates a buzz around the place and everyone in Kerry knows that it’s All-Ireland champions or nothing. That’s always the way it’s been. If you don’t win it, it’s a bad year. This year will be no different.

“The boys look like they’re in a good place. I’m sure they’re working hard at the moment and hopefully it will be a successful 2022 for them.”

Read the full interview in Friday’s Killarney Advertiser

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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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