Waterford hurling was rocked last night with the news that Eoin Kelly has been ‘dropped’ from the county senior panel, the first major decision taken by new County Manager Michael Ryan.
The news was relayed to the players after last night’s first training session of the new year . The 29 years old Passage East man himself insists he will be continuing training and has no intention of retiring from the game.
Whilst RTE reported that Waterford would not be making a statement, SportsNewsIreland sources indicate that a statement by or on behalf of Michael Ryan will in fact be issued later today.
Already a number of callers to local radio and to national fans websites have given their views, and several ‘bring back Eoin Kelly’ pages have surfaced on Facebook.
First reaction from fans was mixed :-
“Kind of disappointing to be honest, thought with the new management he’d be given a chance. Unless he is actually finished ? At 29 he surely has something to offer still. But there’s probably something more to it” said , Fentdog84 on board.ie.
Waterford journalist, Stephen Long on Twitter commented : “I’m not gonna to argue with the management’s decision. I just hope Kelly keeps himself fit and ready” but over on the “An Fear Rua” website not everyone was an Eoin Kelly fan.
Deberries,for example : “Good decision as Kelly has always been a Loose Cannon but who at this stage is not worth the Gamble” whilst ‘”Umpire Paddy” believes that it is a “good decision by Ryan laying down the law straight away and at the end of the day IS Kelly up to inter county standard?”
‘Yawouldyeh” thinks it will prove a blessing in disguise : “Great decision by Ryan I reckon. Might be the wakeup call he badly needs. Kelly has been a passenger the last few years and hasn’t played consistently well since he left Mt.Sion in 2006(?) which is a real shame because he’s one of the best raw natural talents Waterford has ever produced. When he’s in the mood he’s one of the best half forwards in the country. I doubt this will be the last we hear of this this year.”
Last word to “Deise Go Deo” : “I’d have mixed views. Waterford need the best players playing for the county at the moment, especially in the forwards where we have looked weak enough the last few seasons. A lad like Kelly on top form would add so much to our forward line. But the reality is he hasn’t performed to anywhere near his best and it’s debatable whether he still has it in him”.
Two players expected to join the new panel are Fourmilewater – Nire football stars Thomas and Maurice O’Gorman who are due to spend the next few weeks training with the hurlers and if that proves to be a successful trial then it will be a huge loss to the County’s football team and to Manager John Owens.
The O’Gorman brothers have been stalwarts of Waterford football in recent years as well as representing Munster in the Inter Provincial series.