Tony Leen, Currans
New Kerry manager Peter Keane says he is ‘open to the idea’ of re-opening the gates to Fitzgerald Stadium for Kerry training, saying on Friday there are times wouldn’t see a problem with it.
Keane was formally unveiled at the Kingdom’s impressive €8m Centre of Excellence in Currans, where his Kerry players will begin preparations Indy December for the 2019 campaign.
But when the serious stuff comes around after the League, Kerry will return to training in Fitzgerald Stadium – and under Eamonn Fitzmaurice, the gates the ground remained closed to prying eyes, even if some spies climbed trees in an attempt to see what Kerry were at.
Keane says he fully understand the reasoning behind Fitzmaurice’s controversial decision to ban the public from the long-held tradition of strolling up from town and watching Kerry train, but he doesn’t envisage such a strict perimeter of secrecy under his watch.
“I don’t think it is hard and fast, but I wouldn’t be closing the gates all the time,” he said. “Does that mean there are open on a Monday or Tuesday (when it won’t be open), I don’t know. But I certainly wouldn’t have gates locked all the time. I am open to the idea (of letting supporters watch).”
He added: “I don’t see a problem, it served us well over many years. You look at the town of Killarney and there is almost a mini tourism industry built around that. You often hear about people coming down from Armagh or other counties to watch Kerry training in the summer.
As he reflected on what has been a crazy week since his appointment, Keane offered an appropriate perspective of life, and that while Kerry football is important, it’s not everything.
“There was sad news this morning from Killarney about a young fella called Niall McGillicuddy, a young U-16 Legion player who would have played with St Brendan’s last year and I would have been looking at him as a potential Kerry minor in 2019.
"He got sick a couple of months ago with leukaemia and passed this morning. It’s very very sad to think that there was a young fella that you were looking at to play minor with Kerry. That's the predominant thought in my head all day.”