FORMER Cork senior hurling captain Fergal McCormack has declared for Kerry, joining former Limerick captain James O’Brien who transferred to the Kingdom earlier this week. Both players have declared for Kerry under the rule which allows up to five ‘outside’ players to join weaker hurling counties.
Mallow clubman McCormack, who captained Cork in the 1997 Munster senior hurling championship and won Munster and All-Ireland medals with the county two years later, qualifies to play for the Kingdom specifically under the parentage rule — his mother is Kerry football legend Mick O’Connell’s sister.
“I’ve signed the forms,” said McCormack yesterday.
“Pat Heffernan, who played for Limerick, trained us in Mallow and he’s in charge of Kerry now, so that was the connection.
“My first priority remains Mallow, and seeing that the club does well. In all likelihood nothing may come out of the transfer, but if Mallow were to go out of the championship it would be an opportunity to play on.
“I’m a hurling man at the end of the day, and if I can contribute something with Kerry I’d be happy to do so. At this stage it’s not as if I’m going to be playing for the Cork seniors or intermediates, anyway, so my attitude was why not?”
McCormack is the second high-profile transfer to the Kingdom in recent days.
Earlier in the week James O’Brien was confirmed as a panellist for Kerry’s Division Two National Hurling Laegue semi-final clash with Carlow at the Gaelic Grounds tomorrow.
O’Brien was on and off the Limerick side in their run to the All-Ireland senior final last year, despite being named captain following his club Bruree’s county championship win the previous season.
O’Brien, who is now living in Kerry, joins three other ‘outsiders’ on the Kingdom panel — Clare’s Stephen Kelly and Noel Whelan are also available to manager Heffernan, along with Cork’s John Mulchinock.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved