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Kerry Manager Reveals How John Kavanagh Helped Him Win An All-Ireland

Kerry Manager Reveals How John Kavanagh Helped Him Win An All-Ireland
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Kerry's Junior All-Ireland winning football manager tweeted on Monday night thanking John Kavanagh - coach to Conor McGregor - for his help over the weekend.

Stephen Wallace's side overcame Mayo at Croke Park on Saturday with a 14-point victory.


Speaking to Balls.ie, Stephen expanded on how Kavanagh has assisted him and his team.

I speak to John regularly but in this case it was about winning an All-Ireland with a group of young lads at the weekend. He just put together something that I used with the young lads.

Thanks be to god it worked and the young lads when they hear John - and this might seem a little bit exaggerated - but it's like hearing Muhammad Ali's words because John is fast becoming iconic within sporting circles in Ireland.

Stephen, a little coy on the specifics of how Kavanagh had helped to motivate Kerry, implored managers in GAA and other sports to utilise the MMA coach.

It's motivational that's all I'll say. Somebody said to me 'everyone's going to try it now' and of course they are. I couldn't recommend John highly enough to any other manager in any other sport.

Go speak to John Kavanagh, get John to speak to your guys. It'll benefit them - trust me - but I'm not going to say what John Kavanagh did for me.

Saturday was not the first time that Kavanagh has contributed to Wallace's preparations. The Kerry manager informed that any time Kavanagh has been involved, his teams have been the victors.

He's done it for me before. I won't say that we're yet to fail in an All-Ireland because we have lost one [last year to Cavan] but we've won more than we've lost and a couple of occasions that John has been involved we've come out on the right side of it.

You're always looking for that extra advantage, that extra inch that might get you over the line at the end of the game. What John Kavanagh is doing for me and my teams is working for me at the moment anyway. I couldn't recommend him highly enough.

Could we have done with him against Cavan last year? Maybe, he might have made the difference. Like I say, I've been in seven All-Irelands as a player and a manager thanks be to god, I've won six of them so we're not doing too bad.

Wallace, a long-time MMA fan, explained that he finds John Kavanagh's insights fascinating and that when his players hear the Straight Blast Gym man speak, it provides an immediate, 'vivid' lift.


Personally, I'm an MMA fan for 20 years. I was there at Tom Egan's first UFC fight. I'm a fan for a long, long time. I would view John as the iconic figure within Irish MMA scene.

I'd speak regularly to John. I just find his insights fascinating in sport in general and I suppose that you could argue that GAA and MMA are worlds apart but really they are only two letters of the alphabet apart.

Success in one sport leads to success in another and I suppose I'm very much into the science of GAA and BJJ is a very scientific sport. John Kavanagh is a winner and he knows what it takes to win. He's one tough guy but he's a gentleman at the same time.

I use him for a lot of motivational stuff and you just know that when my lads hear John Kavanagh, you can see them lift vividly in front of you. He's an inspirational character within the Irish sporting scene and I'm just thinking outside the box a little bit.

You don't always have to stay within the GAA to find a motivator. I find John just unbelievable to work with and he's been very, very good to me personally.

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE




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