Crokes and Cooper mull over Kerry captaincy

Colm Cooper may not captain Kerry for a third successive season in 2013, it has emerged.

Dr Crokes hope to finalise its nomination for Kerry captaincy over the next few days and though the county champions have four possible options, it is felt the captaincy will rest between Cooper and Eoin Brosnan.

Cooper is not pushing for a third term due to the high number of extra-curricular commitments involved, but will accept the club’s nomination if asked. The club’s Kerry contingent have discussed the matter briefly between themselves and the club remains hopeful it can announce a nomination this weekend.

Brosnan is the obvious alternative to Cooper but with a strong legal business, a young family and ongoing injury concerns, he may wish to pass up the armband. Brosnan is committed to continue with Kerry next season, but like Cooper, won’t be involved with the county until the end of March at the earliest. He aggravated a calf injury in the Munster club final win over Castlehaven but should be fit for Dr Crokes’ All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final against Ballymun Kickhams in February.

Kieran O’Leary and Johnny Buckley are the other Crokes considerations for the Kerry captaincy, but whether they can be guaranteed a starting place with Kerry is an issue, especially with Buckley. There is support for O’Leary as Kerry captain in the Killarney club, where it is felt he has done enough to nail down a starting place with the Kingdom half-forward line.

Meanwhile, a number of top hurling managers are angered by the new league system voted in for 2014.

Central Council this month backed the proposal to retain the six-team divisional structure but with quarter-finals between the top four teams in Division 1A and 1B.

However, all but Tipperary of the five Liam MacCarthy Cup teams in Munster favoured a return to the eight-team top flight with semi-finals between the top four placed teams. Dublin also supported the enlarged group and chairman Andy Kettle expressed concern people at Central Council were voting on a format that “doesn’t really affect their county teams”. The aggrieved counties may yet appeal to Croke Park.


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