Sports

Kieran calls ‘time’

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Kieran calls ‘time’ thumbnailKieran McKeever has announced his retirement from county football.

ARMAGH'S Kieran McKeever last week announced his retirement, at the age of 34, from county football after a long and distinguished playing career and he will be sorely missed by his manager, Kieran McGeeney, his team-mates and his many, many supporters who see Kieran as 'le gend' in Armagh GAA history.

His career began on Sunday, January 12, 2003 in a McKenna Cup game with Down, which Armagh won by 1-15 to 3-7, and finished earlier this month, Saturday August 5, 2017 in an All-Ireland quarter-final in Croke Park against Tyrone (3-17 to 0-8).

It's fitting that Kieran started and finished his career against the two counties who are Armagh's closest and most intense derby rivals.

His career thus lasted just over 14 years and that's a lot of service in the modern game. Although, Kieran never collected a Senior All-Ireland medal, his county career is blessed with lots of triumphs and golden memories.

 

His 'honours' list at county level reads:

Ulster SFC winner - 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004;

NFL Division One winner - 2005;

NFL Division Two winner - 2013;

NFL Division Three winner - 2015;

All-Ireland U-21 winner (as captain) - 2004;

Ulster U-21 winner - 2004;

Ulster Inter provincial winner - 2013, 2012, 2009, 2007 (Railway Cup);

International Rules Squad - 2013, 2011, 2010, 2008

 

Kieran also began his club career with his beloved St Patrick's, Cullyhanna and apart from a few years in Dublin clubs as a GDO officer, Kieran will finish his career with St Patrick's and fans can see him this weekend in the Armagh Championship Round Two clash with Armagh Harps.

He has recently completed a certified GAA Management course and I expect him to stay deeply involved in gaelic games at all levels once he hangs up his boots.

Kieran was always regarded as a fearless, teak-tough, hard tackling defender who was an excellent reader of the game. He was very adept at 'bombing' forward to post telling scores.

Most of his defensive career was at centre-half back and he rarely allowed play to go through the middle of his defence, club or county. His best year was when he was used as an attacking back and then we saw his ability as an astute, pacy overlapping attacker who, not only laid on scores, but regularly scored himself.

Quite recently, Kieran McGeeney has used him both, either as a 'sweeper' in defence, or as a 'target to go to' full forward and he carried out both duties with considerable aplomb.

Kieran had his 'rough edges' at times but they were few in comparison to the times he served up a quality performance, both as a defender or attacker, and in those 'rough edge' times, his teams were certainly glad he was on the pitch.

As a captain, he was always strong and led by example and he will be long remembered as a 'colossus of the game' he loves so passionately.

On behalf of the gaels of Armagh, I wish Kieran an ideal retirement and much good fortune in the future.

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