Change in the air for selection of Kerry captain - but not for 2020

Kerry is one of the last counties to afford their champions the honour of nominating the team captaincy, along with Kilkenny in hurling.

Change in the air for selection of Kerry captain - but not for 2020

There will be no change to how Kerry selects its senior football captain ahead of the 2020 season, but county board chairman Tim Murphy believes a vote to alter the selection process could take place early next year.

Kerry is one of the last counties to afford their champions the honour of nominating the team captaincy, along with Kilkenny in hurling.

And so off the back of their recent county final win, East Kerry will have the power to do so for 2020. But this could be the final time the system is employed in the Kingdom as at least one motion calling for a change to the selection process is expected to be debated at next month’s convention.

At an October meeting between leading county board officials and club chairpersons and secretaries, the prevailing mood among club representatives was for a change.

“Based on the conversations and feedback we got from clubs at that last meeting with club chairpersons and secretaries, I would foresee a motion coming in from a club, or number of clubs, on the matter of the captaincy selection process,” revealed chairman Tim Murphy.

“If a motion does come in, we will make the time to discuss it at our convention. If there was an appetite to then move it on further, the next stage would be to have a vote on the matter early in the new year, probably the first or second county committee meeting of 2020.

“The rules don’t facilitate us taking a vote on it at this year’s convention, as it is a county committee matter. Irrespective, it would be healthy to discuss it when all club delegates, chairpersons, and secretaries are present at the convention.

The prevailing mood among club officials back in October was that we should change it.

The issue was discussed at Kerry convention last year and although one delegate spoke in favour of changing the process so that management had the final decision, the majority were in favour of maintaining the status quo.

“I have heard several times about Stephen Cluxton (Dublin captain for the past seven seasons) with regard to this idea of management selecting a captain and how he is a great mentor. We are not Dublin, nor does Kerry ever want to be a Dublin,” said Dr Crokes’ Matt O’Neill at convention 2018.

Meanwhile, Dr Crokes have submitted a motion calling for a change in how Kerry select their Munster club representatives, when a divisional side winning the county championship.

The rule at present dictates the Kerry club champions represent the county in the Munster Senior Club Football Championship when a divisional side wins the Bishop Moynihan Cup.

Dr Crokes, who lost the most recent county final to East Kerry, are proposing that in the event of a divisional side overcoming a club team in the county final, the beaten club team would represent Kerry, not the club champions.

Dr Crokes have also recommended that when the county final is contested by two divisional sides, the club champions go forward to Munster.

2019 club champions Austin Stacks, who earned the right to compete in the Munster club series following East Kerry’s county final victory, were hammered 2-17 to 0-5 by Nemo Rangers in last Sunday’s provincial semi-final.

Austin Stacks manager Wayne Quillinan said after the game: “We wanted to put in a performance to vindicate why we were here in this situation and to put to bed the argument about the club championship, but we didn’t do that.”

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