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28 Mar

Kilkenny Football Overview

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Posted by Keith Nulty in Craic | Mar 2017

After last year’s shocking 17-20 demolition against Wexford in the Leinster Minor Football Championship, the state of football in Kilkenny came under intense review.  The Noresiders are the only Irish county that don’t compete in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.  Indeed, they haven’t taken part since 1982.

The attitude towards some in Kilkenny towards football has come into question.  Indeed, Brian Cody once stated that the county with its small pick can’t sustain two games and that Kilkenny was a hurling county and intended staying that way.

However, Kilkenny continue soldering away at developing football and hopes remain that they will eventually return to competition.  They did play in the National League between 2008 and 2012 but lost all 40 fixtures.

After that defeat to Wexford, hurling legend DJ Carey got involved and is overseeing the under 14 footballers.  Carey claims that football is played more in schools between September and March and is determined to have Kilkenny competitive should they wish to continue fielding.

Former goalkeeper David Herity also returned to his football roots while Mick Galwey, of Irish rugby fame, lives in Kilkenny and is involved.

Kilkenny did win three Leinster titles between 1888 and 1911 and beat Tipperary in the 1900 All-Ireland football semi-final but the game was refixed after their opponents objected.  Kilkenny refused to field the second day and Tipperary went on to beat Galway in the All-Ireland final.

There are domestic club championships taking place.  The senior football championship quarter-finals will take place on St. Patrick’s weekend as will the intermediate semi-finals.  While Dicksboro and Railyard are just awaiting a fixture for their upcoming league final.

Competitive football during the summer is essential.  Kilkenny won the All-Britain Junior football championship in 2015.  And O’Loughlin Gaels recently won the Division Six Feile.  There are no problems getting numbers under 14 football.  Keeping them afterwards is the challenge.

Kilkenny’s case stands out because they’re the only ‘inactive’ football county.  There are many counties with similar problems maintaining hurling but Cavan are set to make their competitive hurling return in this year’s Lory Meagher Cup.

The GAA needs football in Kilkenny especially now that weaker counties fear for their future ahead of the ‘Super 8’ round-robin format.

Change doesn’t happen overnight and Kilkenny’s hurling future is not under threat from football.  Kilkenny aren’t scheduled to take part in this year’s Leinster minor championship.  When they do again, a heavy loss won’t be avoided immediately.  But they need to be involved to eventually ensure that a 71-point hammering doesn’t happen again.

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