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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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New management for Kerry ladies as they look to put 2018 struggles behind them

The Kingdom will hope they can focus on the football under Donal O’Doherty.

THE KERRY SENIOR ladies footballers have a new manager after an extremely up and down 2018.

The Kerry team The Kerry ladies senior footballers (file pic, August 2017). Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

Spa clubman Donal O’Doherty was ratified at last night’s Kerry LGFA October county board meeting as the Kingdom prepare for life in Division 2 of the Lidl Ladies National Football league, and senior championship once again.

Also Kerry LGFA development officer, O’Doherty steered the Killarney outfit to the senior ladies county championship title this year, and also oversaw their junior counterparts to success.

He has extensive coaching experience at all levels with Spa and also managed the Killarney Celtic senior men’s soccer team.

As a player, O’Doherty lined out with the Killarney outfit for a number of years and also won an All-Ireland vocational schools medal with Kerry in 1990.

Joined by Spa’s Tim O’Connor and Killorglin’s Donal O’Sullivan in his backroom team, O’Doherty will vacate his development officer role to focus on this one.

Kerry v Dublin - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship quarter-final Kerry's Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh facing Olwen Carey. Source: Eóin Noonan/SPORTSFILE

The news of a permanent appointment comes as a lift to the 2018 Munster finalists after a difficult few months of chopping and changing earlier this year.

They were relegated from Division 1 following a winless campaign in which their only victory on the field of play — against Mayo — was subsequently overturned after they were found to have fielded an ineligible player.

Senior manager Graham Shine stepped down following the relegation, with Eddie Sheehy taking over the role on an interim basis.

Under Sheehy they did well, reaching the provincial decider to be edged by eventual All-Ireland finalists Cork and enjoying a decent All-Ireland senior championship campaign.

They exited at the hands of Dublin in the quarter-final but before that, amassed an impressive win over Tipperary and suffered a one-point defeat to Donegal.

Elsewhere, Darragh Long of Austin Stacks and Declan Quill of Kerins O’Rahillys were ratified as joint Kerry minor ladies managers last night.

Earlier this year, then-minor manager Jonathan Griffin was controversially sacked by the county board via email sparking a row which saw multiple officials resign before Griffin was reinstated.

They went on to reach the Munster final, but were beaten by a single point as Cork claimed their ninth crown on the bounce.

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Emma Duffy

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