By Sean Creedon
Two weeks ago, I said I would put money on Maurice Fitzgerald being in the starting Kerry XV for the replay against Armagh. The Cahirciveen man didn’t start as he had been unable to train in the week before the game due to a toe injury. But Fitzgerald was back training last week, but I think he will not make the starting 15 for the final against Galway a week from Sunday. He has missed out on a lot of training and I think Paidi O Se and his selectors will probably stick with Aodhan Fitzgerald, Liam Hassett and Noel Kennelly in the half-forward line.
Rathmore folk are happy with the displays of goalkeeper Declan O’Keeffe, but they must be worried about the chances of newcomer Tom O’Sullivan starting in the final. The left-half back was substituted in the replay against Armagh and his replacement, Tommy Griffin, had a good game.
Galway have no real injury worries and the final should provide a fascinating duel between the captains, Kerry full-back Seamus Moynihan and Galway full-forward Padraig Joyce. They were both colleagues at Tralee Regional Technical College. Joyce picked up a virus and wasn’t able to start for this club Killererin in the Galway quarterfinal clash with Corofin last week. He came on a sub late in the game.
RTE snub Smith
Four years ago she was Ireland’s heroine, winning all those medals in Atlanta. But now nobody wants to talk to or listen to Michelle Smith DeBruin.
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The disgraced swimmer will not be used by RTE on their coverage of the games from Sydney.
"Michelle Smith is not an issue. She won’t come into play. We will be focussing on this year’s Olympics, not on the last one. So she won’t come into it," an RTE spokesperson said.
Smith-DeBruin herself admits that she regrets not being involved.
"In the last few weeks when you see items on TV and the different teams going out and the facilities and you think I would have been doing this now," she said. "I suppose I do wish I was there now."
She is now content to live in County Kilkenn, with her husband, Eric, and their 10-month-old baby.
Herbert wins Kick Fada
Mark Herbert, 21, from Kildare won the inaugural Kick Fada in Bray, Co. Wicklow on Saturday.
Herbert beat a host of intercounty stars to win with a kick from 63 meters. Also taking part were Ciaran Whelan of Dublin, Meath’s Trevor Giles, Philip Clifford from Cork and Derry’s Anthony Tohill.
Wayne McCullough will share the Television airwaves with Mike Tyson when he makes his long-awaited comeback on Oct. 20. McCullough’s fight at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin, will be broadcast live by Sky Sports, who see his fight as the perfect warm-up to Tyson’s heavyweight clash with Andrew Golota that night in Michigan. An opponent has yet to be named for the Belfast Pocket Rocket.
In the summer, soccer great George Best and his wife, Alex, flew into Cork to look at property in the Waterford area. But now they have decided to buy a property in Northern Ireland.
"I have bought a house right on the beach in Ballyhalbert, Co. Down, and we should be moving in around December," Best said. "Originally Alex and I considered it as a weekend retreat, but she has fallen so much in love with it we may perhaps live there for most of the time. My house in London is up for sale and it’s easy to commute between Belfast and London."
Best now works as a television analyst for the Sky Sports and the BBC.
The Republic of Ireland will play Finland in a friendly at Lansdowne Road on Nov. 13th. And on Feb. 28, Denmark will visit Lansdowne Road for another friendly. There will be plenty of interest in the Finland game, as they are in the same World Cup qualifying group as England.
Peter McGrath is to continue as manager of the Down senior footballers. McGrath, who has been in charge since 1989, will be assisted by Paul Duffin, who has managerial experience with Castlewellan.
And Padraig Nolan and his selectors Eamon Mahon and Gerry Hickey have been given another year in charge of the Offaly senior footballers.
New Sligo manager Peter Forde has naned his selectors. They are former Mayo colleague T. J. Kilgallon, former Sligo player Mattie Hoey and Shane Tully, who was also a selectors under previous manager Mickey Moran.
Irish soccer players Phil Babb and Mark Kennedy are due back in court in Dubin in November. And last week Irish rugby international Shane Horgan opted for trial by jury after being accused of assaulting a doorman at a Galway nighclub last October. Horgan has opted for a trial by jury at Galway on Oct. 2.
Former boxing World champion Steve Collins has donated an old pair of gloves to help cash-strapped Derry City. The gloves will be auctioned to help raise funds for the Brandywell club. Meanwhile, the proposed game against Glasgow Celtic, also to raise much needed cash, is due to be played on Oct. 2.