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‘Why wouldn’t you go for a man of his calibre?’ – Crokes chair explains Mahony appointment

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by Adam Moynihan

The chairman of Dr Crokes has revealed that it was the players themselves who approached Aidan O'Mahony about taking charge of the club's senior hurling team for the upcoming season.

Former Kerry footballer O’Mahony was unveiled as Crokes' new hurling manager this week, replacing the outgoing John Lenihan who led the side during their first two seasons at senior level.

The cross-code appointment may seem unusual at first glance but the Rathmore native had already been involved with the club’s hurlers as a strength and conditioning coach. He also resides in Killarney and his daughters attend Crokes’ juvenile academy.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Dr Crokes chair Matt O’Neill explained that it was the Crokes players who put O’Mahony’s name forward for the position.

“John Lenihan asked to step back from the role and it was the senior hurlers themselves who asked Aidan if he’d take on the job. He then asked to meet with myself and we did. He has very ambitious plans and I jumped at the opportunity [to appoint him].

“His managerial skills are well-proven and his professionalism is second to none. He’s got serious support from the players and the standards that he’s setting are very high.

"Why wouldn’t you go for a man of his calibre?”

Lenihan will now form part of O’Mahony’s backroom team, which also includes Eoin Walsh, Eoin O’Shea and Rob Ryan, as well as statistician Ivan Hurley.

Last year O’Mahony guided the MTU Kerry footballers to the semi-finals of the Sigerson Cup before bowing out to eventual champions NUI Galway. He has also previously worked with the Kerry minors.

Crokes exited the 2022 Kerry SHC having lost both their group games but the club’s hurling stock is on the rise.

They competed in the 2022 North Kerry Championship, defeating Lixnaw in the preliminary round, and they are the reigning South Kerry hurling champions having defeated Kenmare Shamrocks by 1-20 to 2-13 in November.

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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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