Jimmy Keane blasts downgrading of junior football championship

Kerry junior football manager Jimmy Keane described the lack of interest in this year’s competition as a “total disaster”.

Kerry and Cork have their first outing of the season in this evening’s Munster final (Austin Stack Park, 7.30pm) as the four other counties in the province withdrew from the competition. Last night, Keane blasted the development.

“Two years ago, we played Limerick in Killarney and had to get a last-minute goal to beat them in the Munster semi-final. They were that close to beating us,” Keane remarked.

“In terms of development, it is a big step back for those counties. You have to question the mentality of their county boards.


“I think a lot of it has to do with finance and they just don’t have the funding to be putting in a team. They probably don’t see a future for either the competition or their own team.”


Keane added: “Having no game is obviously a disaster of a situation, but Cork are in the same boat.”

Having won last year’s All-Ireland, Keane has had to construct an entirely new panel for this fixture.

“What we have told them is they shouldn’t be happy to come in and just play for the Kerry juniors. We don’t want players who are in a comfort zone and who have the attitude, ‘I made the Kerry juniors and that is where I’ll leave it’. We want lads who are progressive and think they can add something to the senior set-up.”

The Rebels last tasted success in 2013 and are hoping to end four years of final heartache, having suffered a 4-24 to 3-20 extra-time defeat 12 months ago.

CORK: C Kelly (Éire Óg); P Clancy (Fermoy), P Murphy (Bandon), D O’Regan (St Vincent’s); K Cremin (Boherbue), B Daly (Newmarket), J Cronin (Lisgoold); K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig), BT O’Sullivan (Garnish); S Hickey (Rockchapel), C Vaughan (Iveleary), E McSweeney (Knocknagree); J O’Connor (Boherbue), D Dineen (Cill na Martra), A O’Connor (Knocknagree).

Subs: J Creedon (Iveleary), C Dennehy (St Finbarr’s), G McCarthy (St Finbarr’s), G O’Connor (Knocknagree), M Vaughan (Millstreet), R Harkin (Mallow), D Cremin (St Michael’s), S O’Donovan (Mayfield), B Murphy (Iveleary), D Pyne (Glanworth), A Murphy (St Finbarr’s), A Murphy (St Finbarr’s).

KERRY: D Ó Sé (Ballydonoghue); T Wallace (Ardfert), D Donohue (Spa), P O’Sullivan (Valentia); P Clifford (Templenoe), A Barry (Na Gaeil), S Moloney (John Mitchels); K Murphy (Kilcummin), R Murphy (Beaufort); E Cronin (Spa), P Clifford (Fossa), L O’Donoghue (Glenflesk); T Hickey (Castleisland Desmonds), D Daly (St Mary’s), N O’Shea (Dromid Pearses).

Subs: E O’Brien (Churchill), D Brosnan (Gneeveguilla), ST Dillon (St Senan’s), P O’Connor (Gneeveguilla), C O’Shea (St Mary’s), R Buckley (Listry), B Crowley (Templenoe), C Farley (Dromid Pearses), C Fitzgerald (Churchill).

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