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Kerry’s Kearney chosen to lead New York footballers

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’ Reilly

New York GAA officials announced this week that Kerry stalwart Paddy Kearney is to manage the New York senior footballers for their controversial upcoming championship clash with Roscommon in the spring.

Kearney, who hails from Cloghane, Castlegregory, will have Leitrim’s Frank Brady, Donegal’s Connie Molloy and Clare’s Pat Scanlon as selectors.

Kearney’s no-nonsense approach brought success to the Kingdom here in New York in 1999, when the Munster men came from Div. 2 to surprise the best teams in the top flight.

Last year, however, some internal unrest in the Kerry camp upset their rhythm midway through the season, and although they did regroup, they failed to compete with the more polished and positive Donegal side in the ultimate challenge.

Kearney, who is well respected in GAA circles for his strict approach to training and his overall commitment to the game and his players, has been praised by New York GAA president Monty Maloney.

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"We have to be as professional in our training and attitude as the best teams in Ireland and I’m confident that Paddy is the right man for the job," Maloney said this week. "The day for a few laps and a kick around are long gone. If the players and the clubs don’t give a 100 percent commitment from the start, then we’re going nowhere. Everyone knows by now the effort that is required to achieve national success."

Brady, who was at the helm for the last two years, said he would help Kearney in every way possible.

"The recent controversy with Roscommon won’t sidetrack us one bit," he said, referring to the Irish side’s refusal to come to New York to play." It just gives us a greater incentive to go over now and beat them in their own backyard.

"The most important thing now is that the clubs and players respond positively".

GAA president Maloney chaired an emergency board of officers meeting last Thursday to discuss Roscommon’s refusal to travel to Gaelic Park for the game. He told GAA officials after the meeting that the game will not go ahead unless the Connacht Council confirm in writing that the rotation proposal for the next five years will take place.

The Connacht Council have proposed that each Western county travel to New York over the next five years, but it hasn’t been finalized. Maloney also stated that the game will have to be played at a neutral venue if New York are to travel.

A request has been logged with Croke Park that if New York lose the first-round championship clash, they have asked not to be included for the second round.

Kearney confirmed this week that training will commence soon, with a panel of 30 players.

"I’ll except no excuses and the lads will know that from the start this year, they’re either going to give it 100 percent from the start or else they won’t be brought on board at all," Kearney said. "As far as I’m concerned, we’re going home to win and nothing else will please me. It’s that simple."

Kearney will have to play without a number of last year’s top players. Paddy McConaghey and Martin Coll have rejoined the Donegal senior panel in Ireland. Leitrim star Bill Dennehy has returned to Tralee. Mickey Slowey has departed for Australia. And Thomas Blake has returned to Meath.

On the brighter side, Kearney did confirm that Bingo and Johnny Driscoll would be traveling with the team this year.

O’Sullivan confirmed

In other GAA news this week, it has been confirmed that Limerick native Kiaran O’Sullivan has being installed as New York hurling manager for the upcoming season. The Ulster Council GAA unanimously decided that the Mourne men would be allowed to travel to Gaelic Park for their first-round championship tie.

Down’s senior hurlers will be arriving in the Big Apple on May 10, three days before the scheduled matchup.

O’Sullivan takes the reins from Jimmy Duggan.

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