By Sean Creedon
Kenny Cunningham is definitely out of The Republic’s World Cup opener against Holland in Amsterdam on Sept 2. And the man who has played more games than any other player under Mick McCarthy will be struggling to be fit for the trip to Portugal in October.
"It’s a huge blow, but I was half expecting it. I spoke to Terry Burton a few weeks back at Wimbledon and he told me that Kenny was making slow progress after his groin operation," McCarthy said.
Cunningham and Leeds United’s Stephen McPhail are the only absentees from the preliminary square of 30 announced by McCarthy. McPhail is not fully fit.
Meanwhile Richard Dunne, who may come into the reckoning in place of Cunningham, saw his proposed transfer from Everton to Wimbledon fall through last week. The player could not agree terms with The Dons.
Carey breaks finger
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Kilkenny star D.J Carey should be fit in time for the All-Ireland hurling final against Offaly despite breaking the small finger in his right hand. Carey picked up the injury recently while lining out for Young Irelands against Dicksboro in the Kilkenny senior hurling league
semifinal. At the time he didn’t realise the seriousness of the injury and finished the game.
"The finger is sore at the moment, but there is no displacement of the bone. It’s not a very bad injury, but I will miss training for a while," Carey said.
Mayo sign Forde Former Mayo full-back Peter Forde is the new Sligo senior football manager. Forde, who was a selector with John Maughan in Mayo, takes over from Mickey Moran. Meanwhile Moran has moved to Donegal to replace Declan Bonner.
Kildare pug for N.Y.
Kildare boxer Cathal O’Grady will make his American debut in New York on Sept. 8. The 23 year-old light heavyweight will meet Darren Whitley at the Elk’s Club in Queens. The fight will be on the undercard of Irish-American Martin O’Malley bout against a yet to be named opponent.
Micko to get medals The GAA may replace all of the medals lost by former Kerry great Mick O’Connell. Micko lost many of his All-Ireland collection during a recent fire at the family home on Valentia Island. Waterford Glass say they will replace a special piece of crystal recently presented to the Kerry legend.
Kildare seek revenge
Kildare will be out for revenge when they meet Galway in the second of the All-Ireland football semifinals at Croke Park on Sunday. Two years ago Kildare seemed to be on their way to their first All-Ireland final success since 1928, but Galway struck back with a brilliant second-half performance to take the Cup to the West for the first time since 1966.
Now Kildare, after a marvelous second-half performance themselves against Dublin in the Leinster replay, have a chance to atone and try and bring the Sam Maguire back to Kildare.
Remember, they were the first team to win the famous Cup in 1928. It’s a hard one to call, Kildare can blow hot and cold. Ask anyone who saw the Leinster final replay. While Galway appeared not to be trying too hard in the Connacht final against Leitrim. I always find television coverage of the Connacht final distorted. We don’t get the same quality of presentation as we do in other provinces as the facilities are obviously not as good. Consequently, the games often seem to be poor. However, when the Connacht champions arrive in Croke Park they look a different outfit. Kildare must now feel that they have really earned a place in the final this year and I must agree with them.
Spillane comments flap
Kildare folk are really annoyed with Pat Spillane. The former Kerry star, who now works as an analyst for RTE television, enraged the Lilywhites with his comments about two of their subs in the Leinster final replay against Dublin. Spillane said that Karl O’Dwyer couldn’t get on the Kerry team and that Brian Murphy couldn’t make the Cork junior team. True, O’Dwyer didn’t keep his place in the Kerry team, but there has been doubt of his value to the Kildare set up since he took up a teaching job in Rathangan. And Murphy has been used as a bustling full-forward since he declared for Kildare. The Kildare County Board are to make a formal protest to RTE.
Carr future in doubt The future of Dublin manager Tommy Carr will not be known until the Dublin County Board meet on September 4th. If Carr steps down the job could go to current selector John O’Leary or maybe the Dubs will at last opt for a Culchie. Tommy Lyons, who was born in Mayo, but has lived most of his life in Dublin, is now working as a television analyst after his spell with Offaly. Lyons knows the Dublin scene very well, having managed Kilmacud Crokes to All-Ireland success. Meanwhile, there’s speculation that Babs Keating could be in line for the job as manager of the Dublin hurlers. Keating lives in Dublin where he is employed by Esso.