Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 24 May 2022

Broken leg and dislocated ankle in Fota in 2013 left Kerry defender doubting inter-county future

Killian Young is appreciative to be back in Kerry colours.

Kerry football defender Killian Young.
Kerry football defender Killian Young.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

KILLIAN YOUNG MAY have had his All-Ireland days of glory with Kerry but a freak training accident in 2013 left him questioning whether he would ever scale those heights again.

A week before their 2013 All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin, Kerry head to Fota Island in Cork for a training camp. Young and teammate Kieran O’Leary were challenging during an in-house game when the Renard man was struck down

“My ankle became twisted and the only way to relieve the pressure is for the leg to break, or so I have since been told by the physio,” he says.

“So I suffered a dislocated ankle and broke the leg. It was just one of those moments when you think ‘this could be it. It could all be stopping all of a sudden’.”

Young faced a long and arduous road to recovery, the gym in the Brandon Hotel in Tralee became his second home.

“It was an injury that could have been very costly it was only for the work I put in on my own. I was completely isolated. It was [my own decision] with the programme with Santry and the medical team.

“It wasn’t something that I was going to travel over to Killarney and go to the gym there, it was just more convenient to do it all in Tralee and it just kept me more focussed that way.

“I was literally in my own zone doing what I needed to do to get back to where I was. I found it tough now on my own, but it can actually beat you up a bit because you’re watching all the players in front of you developing, getting fitter, getting stronger, and you’re just sitting there doing the very basic stuff like only trying to balance on one leg.


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

“There was a lot of flexibility work and things like that to get the ankle moving again. There was plates and screws put in there, it was one of those things ‘if I don’t get this right, it could stop me now’ so I had to put in a pile of work that way.”

Young returned to action by the following April and since then he has collected an All-Ireland title, two Munster crowns and a county senior success with South Kerry. It’s been a run that he has cherished with tomorrow’s Munster final against Tipperary, his next ps

“Certainly [wondered whether it was all over] it was a serious injury and you’re wondering is it going to end now. It was something that had to be managed quite closely so I was lucky in the way it worked out.

“Santry were amazing. Medically we’re so advanced now it’s in safe hands, but there is a moment you’re thinking if you’re going to or not.

“I’m kind of taking it one year at a time, enjoying it a lot more, being a lot more relaxed about it in a good way, just really loving what I’m doing.

“I’m 29 at the moment, I’m in my eleventh season with Kerry so I can’t be around forever. It’s been an enjoyable journey. It’s been good.”

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

No changes for Kerry ahead of Munster final with Premier

2015 All-Ireland minor winner returns for Kerry for Munster final against Cork

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

Read next: