Kildare Manager, Jack O’Connor, will have to plan for the remaining two games in the Allianz Football League as well as the 2020 Leinster Championship following the announcement tonight of the retirement from intercounty football of Peter Kelly, one of Kildare’s stalwart defenders for over a decade.
In his first year with Kildare in 2010 the Two Mile House clubman was awarded an All Star. In a glittering club career Kelly won a Leinster Junior Club Championship in 2013 and an All Ireland Junior Club Championship the following year. He also won a Leinster Intermediate Club Championship in 2018.
Taking to Twitter to make his announcement the 2010 All Star said that it had been an honour and privilege to fulfill his childhood dream of wearing the white jersey for over a decade. “Although we never reached the Promised Land in my time”, the corner back said, “there were many great days; sometimes it’s not about the destination but the journey itself”.
The Two Mile House man was fulsome in his praise of his club as well as the various county management and backroom teams “particularly those acting in a voluntary capacity who never left a stone unturned to ensure the players were given the best opportunity on the pitch”.
In a statement issued following the announcement Kildare GAA and Jack O’Connor and his Management Team paid tribute to Peter Kelly.
“Kildare GAA and the Kildare Senior Football Management would like to send our best wishes to Peter Kelly on his retirement from inter county football. Peter made his debut against Meath in the NFL under Kieran McGeeney in 2010, winning an All Star in his first championship campaign
Over the last 10 years, Peter has been a key member of the Kildare defence and played a huge part in vital victories over the years. He served the county with great pride, honour and was a fantastic leader on and off the field. We wish him and his family all the best for the future”.
Peter Kelly’s full statement from his Twitter account is as follows:
“The curtain has come down on my intercounty career. It has been an honour and a privilege to fulfill a childhood dream in wearing the white jersey for over a decade. I have soldiered with some of the best people I will ever meet and made lifelong friends.
Firstly I would like to thank the supporters who were always there through thick and thin. Although we never reached the Promised Land in my time there were many great days; sometimes it’s not about the destination but the journey itself.
I would like to thank the various management and backroom teams (particularly those acting in a voluntary capacity) who never left a stone unturned to ensure the players were given the best opportunity on the pitch.
Finally a sincere and heartfelt thanks to my club, friends and family for their unconditional support and encouragement over the years. I would like to wish the current Kildare team all the best in the upcoming league and championship and also in the future. Cill Dara Abu”.