Jack O’Connor is set to make a quick return to Kildare on Sunday, January 30 when Kerry open their Allianz Division 1 campaign in Newbridge.
O’Connor, who stepped down as Kildare boss in September citing travel commitments before being appointed for a third term in charge of his native county later that month, has led Kerry to three Division 1 titles. The Kingdom were crowned last year’s winners and shared the title with Dublin this past season.
County officials on Thursday received the provisional league fixtures specific to their senior teams. Also on that weekend, Armagh are set to mark their return to the top flight with an away clash against Dublin. In Division 2, Cork are pencilled in to travel to Offaly in Round 1. All-Ireland victors Tyrone begin their 2022 season against Monaghan in Omagh.
It is believed Mayo, who are in line to face off against Donegal on opening day, are exploring the possibility of hosting some of their home games in Croke Park as MacHale Park won’t be available for the duration of the competition due to necessary pitch reconstruction.
The Allianz Hurling League is due to commence the following weekend on February 5 and 6 with Cork hosting Clare in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on the Saturday evening in Division 1, Group A. In that same section, All-Ireland champions Limerick travel to face Wexford on Sunday and Galway host Offaly. In Division 1, Group B, Kilkenny entertain Antrim, Tipperary head to Laois and Dublin welcome Waterford.
Counties have until next week to come back to Croke Park with comments and proposals about their proposed fixtures. On Wednesday, Donegal GAA moved to dismiss a set of league fixtures that had been published on some social media websites.
The statement read: “A provisional set of Allianz National League fixtures were circulating across social media this morning. CLG Dhún na nGall stress that this schedule of fixtures is not accurate and will not even reflect the provisional fixture schedule which Croke Park will be issuing to County Boards within the next week.
“The process whereby fixtures are finally agreed includes the compilation of a provisional schedule by the CCCC in Croke Park. These are then submitted to County Boards. In the case of Donegal this would include the eight counties who play in Division 1 of the National League. Each county has the opportunity to comment on the provisional schedule and a final list of fixtures is drawn up as a result of an iterative process involving the eight county boards and Croke Park.”