After three of his senior squad retired, Kerry football manager Peter Keane has added five new names to the Kingdom's 2021 panel, though no collective training is allowed for now.
There is a possibility of one more retirement to add to those of Jonathan Lyne, Brian Kelly and Shane Enright. However the player involved has asked for a few more weeks to consider his future, with management keen for the player to remain on.
Kieran Fitzgibbon, who impressed in goal for Kenmare Shamrocks in the Club and Kerry SFC last summer, gets a call-up to replace Kelly.
Brian Leonard of Castleisland Desmonds is also called in after impressive displays with his club and with St Kieran’s in the SFC quarter-final against East Kerry, where he did well as any defender has in shackling David Clifford.
Another St Kieran’s player and Scartaglen clubman Eddie Horan also gets a call-up having shown excellent form with the Kerry minors and U20s in recent years. He usually plays in attack but is versatile.
Paul O’Shea (Kilcummin) and Mark Ryan (Rathmore) also get the nod, with both able to play at midfield or in attack. O’Shea is David Clifford’s first cousin and will concentrate on U20 football first while Ryan will join brother Shane in the Kerry squad.
According to sources close to the setup, it is also expected that a coach/selector will be added to the management team, but nothing concrete has been decided yet.
Meanwhile, two-time All-Ireland SHC winner and five-time All-Star Brendan Cummins has reluctantly stepped down as coach/selector with the Kerry senior hurlers due to work commitments.
Cummins has not severed his ties completely and hopes to help out Kerry manager Fintan O’Connor during the season, taking some sessions with the group, workload permitting.
Shane O’Rourke has replaced John Barry as S&C coach with the hurlers. A Kildare native, O'Rourke is a lecturer in Health and Leisure and Coaching and Sports Performance at IT Tralee and was involved with their Sigerson Cup team in 2018 and 2019.