Kavanagh eyes Tribe transfer

James Kavanagh: Former Kildare forward, wants to join Galway club, Milltown.

Former Kildare forward, James Kavanagh has submitted a transfer request to join Galway club, Milltown — renewing speculation that he may be considering an inter-county switch.

Kavanagh withdrew from the Lilywhite squad at the beginning of the year after eight seasons due to the pressures of travelling from Galway, where he has been living for the past couple of years, while also working as a garda in Dublin. In addition to that, he and his wife were expecting their first child.

The couple now have a two-month-old baby boy and with a work transfer to the west in the pipeline, Kavanagh has opted to make the switch.

Ballymore have given the former All-Star nominee and international rules player their blessing even though they are scheduled to open their county senior championship campaign against champions Sarsfields on Saturday.

Kavanagh was captain of the Wicklow-border outfit and had played most recently in a Division 2 league game in Grange. Milltown are scheduled to open their SFC campaign on May 26 against Caherlistrane.

When explaining his decision to step away from the Kildare panel last January, the 27-year-old (he turns 28 later this month) admitted that a club transfer would ultimately be in the offing once his request for a work transfer was approved but that he did not consider himself retired from inter-county football. He seemed to indicate that if he were to return, it would be with Kildare.

“There is nothing there with Galway at all,” said Kavanagh at the time. “It’s obviously going to be said because I’m moving to Galway and leaving Kildare but there’s nothing in that at all.

“I am disappointed to be leaving the lads I have trained with for a long time. A bit of you feels that you’re leaving them down. But I have to make a decision for myself and I feel I’ve made the right decision for now.

“Whatever comes down the road, we’ll see but this is the way it has to be for the moment.”

Ballymore chairman, John Murphy said that the club wished Kavanagh well and revealed that the player found it difficult to tell his team-mates of the move

“We knew it was coming but we were a bit surprised it came when it did,” admitted Murphy yesterday. “I thought we’d get the year out of him but unfortunately it didn’t happen. With the championship, if he played for us, he couldn’t play for them. That’s the way life is. You move on. He’s living somewhere else, he’s a family down there now so there’s no point in stopping him. We wished him well.

“It was very hard on him. He came up last Tuesday night and he was to tell the lads but he wasn’t able to tell them. So he came up (Thursday) night and told them. It wasn’t easy on him.

“He’s a big loss to us as we’re a small club and we’ve Sarsfields in the first round of the championship but he’s living in Galway, he has a baby now. There’s no hard feelings at all.”


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