Kilkenny captain Colin Fennelly to sit out 2021 season

Thomas Kenny, Enda Morrissey, Luke Scanlon, and Bill Sheehan will not be part of Brian Cody’s plans for 2021
Kilkenny captain Colin Fennelly to sit out 2021 season

Kilkenny's Colin Fennelly and Mark Ellis of Cork during the 2019 All-Ireland quarter-final. There are doubts whether Fennelly, captain of the Cats last year, will remain part of the county set up for the coming campaign. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Kilkenny captain Colin Fennelly is among five more players of the 2020 panel who won’t be among this year’s Cats panel.

Thomas Kenny, Enda Morrissey, Luke Scanlon and Bill Sheehan won’t be part of Brian Cody’s plans for 2021, while it is understood Fennelly has informed the manager he is sitting out the forthcoming season.

Along with Walter Walsh, Fennelly, 31, was dropped for the All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford after a disappointing performance in the Leinster final win over Galway two weeks previous.

At the time, Fennelly admitted he feared he would be axed for the semi-final.

“You’d be under pressure all the time. For every game. People out there might think, ‘oh yeah, he’ll start this weekend.’ It’s never the case.” Fennelly came on against Waterford in the 49th minute for Billy Ryan.

Paul Murphy and Ger Aylward announced their retirements in recent days, while a number of other players have yet to confirm their plans for the upcoming season. All-Star nominee TJ Reid, 33, is expected to return to collective training when the GAA gives the go-ahead.

Cody has brought five new players into the panel — David Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge), Darragh Corcoran (Shamrocks), Eoin Guilfoyle (James Stephens), Aidan Nolan (Dicksboro) and Eoin O’Shea (O’Loughlin Gaels). Brian Cody (Shamrocks), and Cian Kenny (James Stephens) have been retained after they were part of the extended panel at the end of last season.

Meanwhile, it is expected both Kilkenny and Kerry’s 2021 senior football and hurling captains will again come from their champions.

Both Shamrocks and East Kerry defended their 2019 titles last year so there remains the possibility Fennelly and David Clifford could retain the roles they held in 2020.

However, it has been the policy of champions in Kilkenny to circulate the honour — Fennelly previously lead the team in 2014, his Shamrocks’ club-mate Joey Holden was appointed the following season while another TJ Reid was captain in 2010 and ‘19.

If Clifford is not given the responsibility again, the likes of Paul Murphy, Jack Sherwood, Ronan Buckley, Dara Moynihan, and Clifford’s brother Paudie come into the reckoning.

Elsewhere, Waterford are interviewing for the U20 management team for 2021. Stephen Gough is hoping to be retained, although former minor boss Gary Morahan has put his name forward with ex-Déise hurler Pa Kearney proposed as his head coach.

Former Galway hurler Davy Glennon’s transfer to Westmeath went through meaning he can line out for the Lake County this season.

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