County Chairman disappointed with Kerry minor hurlers performance

By Murt Murphy for 
There was an air of disappointment rather than despondency at Austin Stack Park on Saturday last, as Kerry made a very tame exit from these years All-Ireland Minor B Hurling Championship, albeit to a very good Meath side.
Trying to fathom what went wrong was difficult in the immediate aftermath of the game, but County Chairman Jerome Conway did admit that it was disappointing "Yes, it was a very disappointing performance but first of all we must give full credit to Meath- they were well prepared, a good strong team and obviously well coached. On the day Meath were the better team by far and we cannot complain about the result. As for our won performance I would have to say that we were not as good as we were in the Munster Championship. I know we were missing Padraig Boyle and Dougie Fitzell so we don't know how that affects their team-mates, maybe they had the heads down going out - I am not sure but certainly they did not play to their potential and consequently we were well and truly beaten"

Did the Chairman detect any reason for the loss of form by this minor side who had played so well in Munster A Championship earlier in the year and in fact were within a couple of points of Cork at half time in Pairc Ui Caoimh " Obviously the summer brings with it problems, in trying to get lads off work to train, earlier on a lot of them had exams and then many of them would be currently training and playing with their senior clubs in the Championship here in Kerry so it is not easy. It might be that their minds might not be properly or fully focused on this competition but at the same time, we have to admit that Meath were a very good side and that we played well below par but it would probably have taken a mighty effort to have beaten Meath anyway"

Mr Conway just could not put his finger on why Kerry had performed so poorly on the day "Look as I say it might be the local championships, combined with the loss of two of the sides top players Padraig Boyle and Dougie Fitzell that was at the root of it because it difficult to gauge how those things impact on the minds of young players. They certainly were not a patch on the team that played against Clare in the opening round or the side that performed so well in Pairc Ui Caoimh"

Mr Conway was not too downbeat about the affect that the defeat might have for the future of Kerry hurling "Look we have been going well at all grades in recent years and no matter how good your minor team is, you will be lucky to get four or five players for your senior squad in any given year and I would think that there are a number of good young hurlers out there today who will make it to senior ranks"

Kerry manager Gerard McCarthy, who admitted that he was disappointed and that he would stepping down and allowing someone else to take over as he done his stint with the team and a successful one at that " I am disappointed because a lot of work went into to preparing this team over the past two years. The fact that they are playing in the SHC did not help. We were also missing Padraig Boyle and Dougie Fitzelle and we were out hurled by a good Meath team who played well.

But I have no regrets, I had four great years. We got a good hiding from Waterford in 2008 but won the Munster Development Cup. Then in 2009 we won the All-Ireland Minor B and then last year we took Limerick to a point in the Munster Minor Championship in a game that we could very well have won and we won the Munster Development Cup again and this year we came up against a very hot Clare side who reached the All-Ireland semi final so I have no regrets. I have worked with some very good lads and we did our best it is  just today that disappoints me"