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Former Kerry footballer Marc Ó Sé pictured at the launch of the Bord Gais Energy Legends Tour.
Former Kerry footballer Marc Ó Sé pictured at the launch of the Bord Gais Energy Legends Tour.

Marc Ó Sé impressed with 'strong' Kerry panel


By Cian O'Connell

Talent will always exist down south so Marc Ó Sé isn’t surprised by how quickly some footballers have adapted wearing the green and gold jersey.

Experienced players such as Colm Copper, Aidan O’Mahony, and Ó Sé might have left the inter-county arena, but the newcomers dealt quite well during the Allianz Football League.

Kerry also shrugged off Clare’s spirited resistance in an interesting Munster SFC Semi-Final with Ó Sé impressed by how Kevin McCarthy, Jack Barry, Ronan Shanahan are faring for Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s team.

"When my brother Darragh was in charge of the Under 21s he would have told me how good these lads were, particularly McCarthy, the talent that is there,” Ó Sé says.

“I suppose his brother Mike McCarthy is a famous Kerry footballer too and he didn't lick it up off the ground. He is a very talented player, he has got tuned in this year and he is really producing the goods.

“Jack Barry was out in San Francisco last year and the talk out there was he was the best footballer to go out in the last few years. It is great now that he is at home because he had a fantastic League, he is a real find.

“The last day alright he found the going tough, but the next day I'm sure he will be putting it up to the likes of David Moran, Anthony Maher, trying to get a starting place. So he has been a huge find. Ronan Shanahan will probably be disappointed at not starting the last day, it really improves your panel.”

Ó Sé  is adamant that the depth of the Kerry panel is powerful ahead of Sunday’s Munster SFC Final against Cork at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney.

“You have Killian Young to come back in too, you have fellas to come in,” Ó Sé states. “I'd agree the panel does seem to be in a far stronger position.

Kieran Donaghy following the epic 2014 All Ireland SFC Semi-Final win over Mayo at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
Kieran Donaghy following the epic 2014 All Ireland SFC Semi-Final win over Mayo at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.

“Even if you look at the substitutes bench the last day you had great players ready to come on and you saw the calibre of the players that weren't brought on the likes of Darran O'Sullivan.

“I'm sure he will be very disappointed at having not featured, particularly when his team won the Junior All Ireland and he was kicking on from that. He will be very disappointed, but the panel is very strong. Not alone just to start, but the competition for the 26 places is huge. You need that.

“Eamonn will be telling the lads how well they did in the National League Final against Dublin, the confidence that those young fellas will take from that. You have to remember you have old heads inside there - Kieran Donaghy, Darran O'Sullivan, Bryan Sheehan, David Moran is getting to an age, Anthony Maher.

“These are fellas who have so much experience, I'm leaving out fellas. I think it is always important to bring in fresh players every year, if you could get two players every year that is great. Kerry have more than achieved that this year and I think the thing for Eamonn to do now is to gel the younger and older lads.”

Donaghy’s relevance to the 2014 All Ireland success is a prime example about how to utilise your options wisely according to Ó Sé.

“There are always things you have to do in terms of tactics,” Ó Sé remarks. “The game evolves the whole time.

“I'm a huge believer in different strokes for different folks. You might need a particular player on a particular day, I always come back to the 2014 Semi-Final against Mayo.

"We hadn't used Kieran Donaghy all year, we were five points down against Mayo and all of a sudden we needed him.

“For that particular day he was brought on to do a huge job. As it transpired he went on to the replay and was outstanding and he had a great final as well. Different players are needed for different days, that is why you have a panel.”

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