Kerry county football team
The Kerry county football team represents Kerry in men's Gaelic football and is governed by Kerry GAA, the county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The team competes in the three major annual inter-county competitions; the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, the Munster Senior Football Championship and the National Football League.
The Green and Gold
Fungie's Barmy Army
|County board:||Kerry GAA|
|Home venue(s):||Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney|
|Recent competitive record|
|Current All-Ireland status:||Munster (SF) exit in 2020|
|Last championship title:||2014|
|Current NFL Division:||1 (1st in 2020)|
|Last league title:||2020|
Kerry was the fourth Munster county both to win an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (SFC), as well as to appear in the final, following Limerick, Tipperary and Cork. The team last won the Munster Senior Championship in 2019, the All-Ireland Senior Championship in 2014 and the National League in 2020.
Kerry are the most successful team in football history, having won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on 37 occasions and the National Football League 21 times. The team is also the holders of a number of distinctive records in football championship history. They have contested 59 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Finals, the next highest participator being Dublin with 36 appearances. Kerry's record in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship involves having played 30 of the 31 other counties, with only Kilkenny being the exception.
The traditional Irish game of caid, from which modern football developed, was especially popular in Kerry. The GAA was formed in 1884 and codified the modern rules of the game, which were soon adopted in Kerry clubs such as Laune Rangers. Despite this, the county team did not win an All-Ireland Football Championship in the nineteenth century. The 1903 title was the first won by Kerry, with them beating London in the final at a time when London were given a bye to that stage of the championship; Kerry's overall exceptional success in the game began in this period.
The Kerry team of the 1970s and 1980s was considered to be the greatest in the history of football and its manager (Mick O'Dwyer) one of the greatest of all time. In recent years Dublin has become the greatest team of all time winning 6 All-Irelands in a single decade. Its former manager, Jim Gavin, is now acknowledged as the greatest manager of all time. Of the 20 All-Ireland finals held during those two decades, Kerry participated in 12, with victory coming on 9 occasions. During this time most other finals were won by Dublin, and there was a major rivalry between the two counties especially during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982, Kerry came within one minute of winning an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland title in a row, only for a late goal by Offaly's Séamus Darby to give the title to Offaly. This goal was voted third in a poll to find the Top 20 GAA Moments.
Towards the end of the 1980s, Kerry went into decline and did not appear in an All-Ireland final for 11 years, between 1986 and 1997. The 1997 victory, however, would mark the beginning of a revival for Kerry which spanned roughly the first decade of the 21st century. Of the 15 All-Ireland finals between 1997 and 2011, Kerry contested ten and won six, including five titles in the 2000s.
Kerry reached the 2002 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. Its opponent, Armagh, had lost its two previous appearances at this stage of the competition. Kerry led at half-time, but not at full-time, giving a first All-Ireland title to Armagh. Kerry later got rid of its manager Páidí Ó Sé, All-Ireland winning manager in 1997 and 2000 and All-Ireland winning player eight times between 1975 and 1986. Ó Sé fell ill and died some years later, at the age of 57.
Kerry reached the 2005 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. Its opponent, Tyrone, had lost two of its three previous appearances at this stage. Tyrone did not lose this one.
In 2006 and 2007, Kerry won consecutive All-Ireland titles (the first team to do so since Cork in 1989 and 1990).
Kerry reached the 2008 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. Its opponent, Tyrone, defeated it once more. By reaching the same stage in 2009, Kerry became only the third team to reach six consecutive All-Ireland finals (a feat last achieved by Dublin between 1974 and 1979).
Kerry quietly exited the 2010 and 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championships at the quarter-final stage, losing to Down and Donegal respectively, while Dublin defeated Kerry in dramatic fashion on the last kick in the 2011 final. Dublin were also responsible for their exit at the semi-final stage in 2013 in a closely contested classic match. Kerry won their 37th, and most recent, All-Ireland title in 2014 against Donegal, winning by a margin of 2–09 to 0–12. This win was notable due to Kerry's fairly young squad and a belief that Kerry were becoming unable to produce the talent they once had, after pundit Joe Brolly had suggested as such. In the aftermath of the game, Kerry player Kieran Donaghy gave a famous interview in which he directly referenced Brolly's claim that the 'production line' in Kerry had stopped, with Donaghy speaking directly to the camera and asking 'Well, Joe Brolly, what do you think of that?'. The next year, Kerry again reached the All-Ireland final, only this time to be comfortably beaten by Dublin, 0–12 to 0–9. The next two years saw Kerry bow out at the Semi-Final stage. In 2016, they were narrowly defeated by Dublin in a thrilling encounter, while in 2017 they were beaten by Mayo in a replay – their first championship defeat to Mayo in 21 years. Kerry crashed out of the 2018 championships at the group stages of the new Super Eights format. However, in 2019 Kerry reached their first All-Ireland final for four years. The first match was drawn 1–16 to 1–16, with the final to be played on 14 September.
Kerry's 2009 title was also notable since it followed the return of Tadhg Kennelly. The son of Tim Kennelly, a five-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry, and a former talented underage player with the county, he had joined the AFL's Sydney Swans and become the first Irish player to win an AFL Premiership in 2005 (the Swans' first in 72 years). Following Tim's death later that year, he elected to return to Ireland and rejoin Kerry in 2009 in pursuit of winning an All-Ireland of his own playing for the county. After he succeeded and became the first player to have won an All-Ireland and an AFL Premiership, he returned to Australia and the Swans to finish his career.
Kerry reached the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, where its opponent was Dublin (appearing at this stage for the first time in 16 years). In what was a memorable ending to the game, Kerry conceded a free and Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton sent the ball over Kerry's bar to consign The Kingdom to defeat.
Kerry contested the 2019 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, attempting to prevent Dublin from achieving five consecutive titles (the record Offaly denied Kerry in 1982). Kerry, however, failed to stop Dublin from achieving the record. Kerry had also been the team to set the record going, after losing the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final to Dublin as well.
In January 2003, Páidí Ó Sé famously described Kerry supporters "fucking animals". More than 15 years later, former Tyrone footballer Seán Cavanagh, recalling his own experiences of the Kerry supporters, agreed that Ó Sé had been right. Cavanagh mentioned a 2012 match at Fitzgerald Stadium when an injury meant he could not play. "Then you sit in the stand, and you realise Páidí Ó Sé was right. They are absolute animals when the game is on". Cavanagh also questioned their "patronising" attitude towards their opponents. "It was strange that day. Their fans were riled on the terraces. They beat us well. They beat us out the gate, and you thought, 'Jesus, these guys are absolute dogs'. And then I remember as we were leaving the changing room, walking out onto the team bus there were hundreds of Kerry supporters, all clapping us. Either side of us, as we were walking through. They were back slapping us, 'ah youse are great lads', and all this. To me, it seemed a wee bit patronising".
Current management teamEdit
- As of 8th October 2021:
Team as per Kerry vs Cork in the Munster SFC Final, 25 July 2021
RET Player has since retired from the county team.
INJ Player has had an injury which has affected recent involvement with the county team.
WD Player has since withdrawn from the county team due to a non-injury issue.
The following players were not included in the most recent matchday squad, but were part of the 2019 senior panel.
|Left Corner Forward||James O'Donoghue||Legion||v. ?|
|Right Half Forward||Michael Geaney||Dingle||v. ?|
|Centre Back||Peter Crowley||Laune Rangers||v. ?|
|Right Corner Forward||Conor Geaney||Dingle||v. ?|
|Right Half Back||Robert Wharton||Renard||v. ?|
|Right Half Forward||Micheál Burns||Dr Crokes||v. ?|
|Midfield||Liam Kearney||Spa||v. ?|
|Left Half Forward||Denis Daly||Spa||v. ?|
|Full Back||Mark Griffin||St Michael's Foilmore||v. ?|
|Right Half Forward||Tomás Ó Sé||An Ghaeltacht||v. ?|
|Full Forward||Gavin O'Brien||Kerin's O'Rahilly's||v. ?|
|?||Danny Sheahan||Legion||v. ?|
The following five additions were made ahead of the 2021 season:
- Kieran Fitzgibbon (Kenmare Shamrocks)
- Brian Leonard (Desmonds)
- Mark Ryan (Kenmare Shamrocks)
- Paul O'Shea (Kilcummin)
- Eddie Horan (Scartaglen)
This is a list of people who have coached/managed the Kerry county football team since 1965.
|Name||Club||From||To||All-Ireland SFC titles||Munster SFC titles|
|Dr Jim Brosnan||1965||1968|
|Mickey Ned O'Sullivan||1989||1992|
|Páidí Ó Sé||1995||2003|
|Jack O'Connor (2)||2009||2012|
|Jack O'Connor (3)||2022||Present|
Kerry has several noted families who have competed at the sport's highest level; these include the Ó Sés, the Sheehys, the Spillane–Lynes and the Walshes and Kennellys; Frank and John O'Keeffe; Jack and Aidan O'Shea; Ogie and David Moran; Con and Jim Brosnan; Ned and Maurice Fitzgerald; John Egan and his son (the one who got away).
- Colm Cooper was the highest scoring player in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship until 2019 when Cillian O'Connor of Mayo surpassed the record against Kerry during a defeat in Killarney. Cooper had taken the record from fellow Kerryman Mikey Sheehy.
- Mick O'Dwyer is the team's top scorer in National Football League history, finishing his career with 19–313 (370) in that competition. As of 2021, he remained in the top ten all-time scorers in that competition, though he had been passed by numerous players including Ronan Carolan of Cavan, Mattie Forde of Wexford, Steven McDonnell of Armagh, Conor McManus of Monaghan, Brian Stafford of Meath and David Tubridy of Clare.
- Beginning with Páidí, the Ó Sé family had at least one member play a part in all 22 All-Ireland SFC finals that Kerry participated in between 1975 and 2014.
- Pat Spillane received nine All Star Awards during his career, a feat matched by no other footballer.
- Tadhg Kennelly became the first (and thus far only) holder of both an AFL Premiership medallion and a Senior All-Ireland Championship medal, the highest respective possible honours in the sports of Australian rules football and Gaelic football, in addition to winning a GAA Medal as Irish Player of the Series in the International Rules Series.
- 1971: Donie O'Sullivan
- 1972: Donie O'Sullivan, Mick O'Connell
- 1973: John O'Keeffe
- 1974: Paudie Lynch
- 1975: Paudie O'Mahony, John O'Keeffe, Ger Power, Mickey O'Sullivan, John Egan
- 1976: Ger O'Keeffe, John O'Keeffe, Ger Power, Mikey Sheehy, Pat Spillane
- 1977: Pat Spillane, John Egan
- 1978: John O'Keeffe, Paudie Lynch, Ger Power, Pat Spillane, Mikey Sheehy, John Egan
- 1979: John O'Keeffe, Tim Kennelly, Ger Power, Seán Walsh, Pat Spillane, Mikey Sheehy
- 1980: Charlie Nelligan, Tim Kennelly, Jack O'Shea, Ger Power, Pat Spillane, Eoin Liston, John Egan
- 1981: Jimmy Deenihan, Paudie Lynch, Páidí Ó Sé, Jack O'Shea, Seán Walsh, Denis 'Ogie' Moran, Pat Spillane, Mikey Sheehy, Eoin Liston
- 1982: Páidí Ó Sé, Jack O'Shea, Mikey Sheehy, Eoin Liston, John Egan
- 1983: Páidí Ó Sé, Jack O'Shea
- 1984: Páidí Ó Sé, Tommy Doyle, Tom Spillane, Jack O'Shea, Eoin Liston, Pat Spillane, Mikey Sheehy
- 1985: Páidí Ó Sé, Mick Spillane, Tommy Doyle, Jack O'Shea, Pat Spillane
- 1986: Charlie Nelligan, Tommy Doyle, Tom Spillane, Pat Spillane, Mikey Sheehy, Ger Power
- 1987: Tom Spillane, Ger Lynch
- 1988: Maurice Fitzgerald
- 1989: Connie Murphy
- 1996: Maurice Fitzgerald
- 1997: Declan O'Keeffe, Séamus Moynihan, Eamonn Breen, Pa Laide, Maurice Fitzgerald
- 2000: Declan O'Keeffe, Séamus Moynihan, Mike McCarthy, Darragh Ó Sé, Liam Hassett, Mike Frank Russell
- 2001: Johnny Crowley
- 2002: Darragh Ó Sé, Colm Cooper
- 2004: Diarmuid Murphy, Tom O'Sullivan, Mike McCarthy, Tomás Ó Sé, Paul Galvin, Colm Cooper
- 2005: Diarmuid Murphy, Mike McCarthy, Tomás Ó Sé, Colm Cooper
- 2006: Marc Ó Sé, Séamus Moynihan, Aidan O'Mahony, Darragh Ó Sé, Paul Galvin, Kieran Donaghy
- 2007: Marc Ó Sé, Tomás Ó Sé, Aidan O'Mahony, Darragh Ó Sé, Declan O'Sullivan, Colm Cooper
- 2008: Tomás Ó Sé, Declan O'Sullivan, Colm Cooper, Kieran Donaghy
- 2009: Diarmuid Murphy, Tom O'Sullivan, Tomás Ó Sé, Séamus Scanlon, Paul Galvin, Tadhg Kennelly, Declan O'Sullivan
- 2010: Colm Cooper
- 2011: Marc Ó Sé, Bryan Sheehan, Darran O'Sullivan, Colm Cooper
- 2013: Colm Cooper, James O'Donoghue
- 2014: Paul Murphy, Peter Crowley, David Moran, Kieran Donaghy, James O'Donoghue
- 2015: Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright, Anthony Maher, Donnchadh Walsh
- 2016: Paul Geaney
- 2017: Paul Geaney
- 2018: David Clifford
- 2019: Tom O'Sullivan, David Moran, Seán O'Shea, David Clifford
Kerry has also won the most Munster Senior Football Championships, with 81 titles.
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- "'David Clifford is going to give Kerry every chance of winning an All-Ireland if he stays fit' - Marc Ó Sé previewed the clash of Cork and Kerry on the latest episode of The42 GAA Weekly". The42.ie. 6 November 2020.
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- Clarke, Harry. "'Páidi Ó Sé was right, Kerry fans are absolute animals' – Sean Cavanagh", Independent, 11 July 2019.
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- "Kerry chairman defends 'disgraceful' attacks as Jack O'Connor ratified on two-year term". the42.ie. 4 October 2021.
- "Paddy Tally confirmed as Kerry coach as backroom team takes shape". radiokerry.ie. 8 October 2021.
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- "Jim succeeds Dr. Eamon as Kerry team trainer"; Kerryman 27 February 1965, p. 16
- "Jackie Lyne will train Kerry team"; Kerryman 18 May 1968, p. 21
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- Sports Digest, The Kerryman, 25 August 1995, p. 22
- "All-Ireland-winning Kerry defender Peter Crowley retires from inter-county football". Irish Independent. 20 April 2021.
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