Brendan Kealy in the dark about Offaly manager Wallace’s weekend role

Offaly goalkeeping coach Brendan Kealy is unsure if manager Stephen Wallace will be on the sideline for Sunday’s Leinster SFC preliminary round game against Wicklow in Portlaoise.

Former Kerry goalkeeper, and current Offaly coach, Brendan Kealy

Wallace is understood to have had his eight-week ban upheld arising from his involvement in an incident during the Ardfert-John Mitchels Kerry IFC game in Austin Stack Park last month.

Kealy remarked: “I’m not 100% clear on it. I don’t want to know that kind of stuff unless I have to.

My role — and it’s not to give a short answer or anything — is working with the goalkeepers and trying to get them in as good a shape and as good a place as possible for the weekend and for the championship so that’s what I’m focused on. If Stephen is there, great. If he’s not, we’ll deal with it.

One person who certainly won’t be involved is starlet Cian Johnson who has been ruled out due to a decision by the Offaly County Board banning U20 footballers from lining out for the senior county team.

Their decision followed the Congress rule last year, which was since amended, to prevent U20 players who play championship for their senior county side from competing in the underage competition.

Kealy believes it’s an unfortunate situation.

He’s a big talent and a big prospect. It would be great to have him but they put a rule in place so you have to abide by that. We have what we have for Sunday and we march on with that.

“He was (there) pretty much through the (league) campaign. It’s unfortunate for everyone but there’s a panel that has been training since the start of the year and we go on with what we have and Cian will hopefully join us in the future. Our loss is the U20s’ gain.”

After they were both involved in Kilcummin’s intermediate club success at the weekend, Kealy hopes to see Kevin McCarthy blossoming for Kerry this summer.

“He’s definitely good enough to nail down a spot. Last year was unfortunate — it was his first year on the panel, so it was always a big step-up and he picked up an injury which got the better of him towards the end of it.

“He’s playing good stuff at the minute, so hopefully, he can keep it going and he’s a way to go to reach his potential.”


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