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After All-Ireland setback, Kerry players must switch their focus to club action this weekend

The Kerry county senior championship throws in with eight games taking place.

THE PAIN OF All-Ireland defeat may still be fresh but Kerry’s senior football squad will return to playing action this weekend with the start of the county’s senior championship for 2019.

pjimage O'Donoghue, White and Geaney will all be back in club action. Source: INPHO

It was decided at the outset of this season to run off the Kerry senior championship in one block after the county team had exited the All-Ireland series.

Last Saturday’s replay against Dublin pushed back the starting date in the Kingdom and leaves them with a schedule that will see the club programme unfold over the course of seven weeks.

The semi-finals are penciled in for the weekend of 26-27 October with the winners handed a fortnight’s reprieve before the final on 10 November. That decision means there is no room for a final replay with the Kerry county champions out in Munster action on 17 November in a semi-final tie away to the Cork or Limerick title winners.

The action begins on Saturday with Tom O’Sullivan and Paul Geaney the current Kerry stars involved as their club Dingle take on Austin Stacks. 

On Sunday several members of Peter Keane’s setup are part of outfits who will feature. Reigning champions Dr Crokes, who lost out in the All-Ireland club decider on St Patrick’s Day last, are bidding for an eighth title this decade after victories from 2010-13 and 2016-18. Kerry captain Gavin White is in their ranks along with a bunch of former county players as they take on Rathmore, who can call on Paul Murphy and Shane Ryan.

paul-murphy Kerry football defender Paul Murphy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

That’s part of a double-header at Fitzgerald Stadium with Brian Kelly, Jonathan Lyne and James O’Donoghue – all on the bench for Kerry last Saturday – part of the Killarney Legion setup that meets current All-Ireland intermediate club winners Kilcummin.

In Austin Stack Park in Tralee, there are also two games down for decision. East Kerry can call on David Clifford, Jack Sherwood and Dara Moynihan as they meet St Brendan’s, who could pick Jack Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor.

In the second game the newly-proposed Laois boss Mike Quirke is at the helm of Kerins O’Rahilly’s, spearheaded by David Moran and Tommy Walsh, as they take on Kenmare Shamrocks, the club of Sean O’Shea and Stephen O’Brien.

tommy-walsh-and-david-moran Tommy Walsh and David Moran will be key figures for Kerins O'Rahilly's. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Elsewhere Kenmare District, backboned by the four Templenoe players in the Kerry ranks (Tadhg Morley, Gavin Crowley, Adrian and Killian Spillane) face West Kerry, who could include Brian Ó Beaglaoich.

Finally South Kerry, who have Kerry panel members in Mark Griffin, Killian Young and Graham O’Sullivan, take on Shannon Rangers, the divisional side of defender Jason Foley.

Kerry SFC Fixtures

Round 1

Saturday 21 September

Dingle v Austin Stacks, Dingle, 5pm
St Kieran’s v Mid Kerry, Brosna, 5pm

Sunday 22 September

Killarney Legion v Kilcummin, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1.30pm
St Brendan’s v East Kerry, Austin Stack Park, 1.30pm
Kenmare District v West Kerry, Templenoe, 2.30pm
South Kerry v Shannon Rangers, Caherciveen, 2.30pm
Dr Crokes v Rathmore, Fitzgerald Stadium, 3.30pm
Kerins O’Rahilly’s v Kenmare Shamrocks, Austin Stack Park, 3.30pm

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Fintan O'Toole

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