Ó Sé tips O'Brien to do a job on McCaffrey
By John Harrington
Kerry legend, Marc Ó Sé, believes Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey will be a marked man in Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC Final replay.
McCaffrey scored 1-3 from wing-back in the drawn match, but Ó Sé reckons that Kerry will have a plan to make him busier in defence so he doesn’t have the same opportunity to attack on Saturday.
“I think there will have to be a different plan for Jack McCaffrey,” said Ó Sé today at the launch of Eir Sports' new season of sports coverage.
"Stephen O'Brien finished up on him and I think he's probably the most suitable fella to mark Jack McCaffrey.
“It's a huge task to try to nullify McCaffrey, he's a serious footballer, kicking 1-3 from half-back. When you have to put a defender on him, it just shows you how good he is.
“That said, maybe that's not the way to go about it. Maybe we need to put a forward on him, maybe we need to put Jack McCaffrey on the back foot and see how does that work.
“And I think Stephen O'Brien would be the best suited for that because he's been in the form of his life this year.
“He'd have the legs, but, most importantly, he'd have the physicality as well. Gavin White had the legs, but in terms of physicality, McCaffrey just goes and you have to do what Paddy Durcan did and have that physicality for him.
“That's a huge thing that people tend not to see and tend to overlook. I just think the physicality, he just goes, and if you have a fella that can go with him but also be able to stop him up just before he builds up his momentum.
“I just think if Kerry can keep him quiet...but, look, they have so many match-winners all over the field, that's the big thing about Dublin. You've the likes of Kilkenny who didn't really perform to how we know he can perform.
“Brian Fenton, Con O'Callaghan, Paul Mannion, there are so many players who can up their performance and that's the dangerous thing from a Kerry point of view. It's an area Peter Keane can keep an eye on.”
The flip side of that coin is that Ó Sé also believes that Kerry can get more from their inside forwards than they did in the drawn game, especially if they adopt a more direct approach.
“When Kerry had the dominance around the middle of the field and when they did kick the ball in to David Clifford, I think they should have bombed a few more ones in to him,” said Ó Sé
“We saw Tommy Walsh in the second-half, the difference he made, but I think when you have that dominance that ball has to go quicker because we saw what Clifford was able to do with the little amount of ball that he did get.
“The next day Kerry might look at that as an area they can work on because if you look at that Kerry full-forward line and you add in Tommy Walsh, they are all big men.
“Geaney can win a ball over his head, Clifford can certainly win it, and so can Tommy Walsh.
“So, I think Kerry might try to exploit the high ball a bit more.
"And, from that point of view, do Dublin leave James McCarthy at midfield or centre-back or do they bring him back full-back like the last day which I don't think really worked, so it will be interesting to see what they do the next day as well.”
James O’Donoghue - plagued by hamstring injuries this year - didn’t feature in the Kerry match-day panel for the drawn match, but Ó Sé believes he should be an option for the replay .
“I'd say he's in with a chance for the replay. I know he was back training before the drawn match but probably didn't have enough sessions done so this two-week gap will give him a far greater chance of making the panel.
“But, again, it will be interesting to see if Peter Keane changes up his panel for the replay.
“Yeah, if he was fit, no better man to bring in, particularly towards the end of the match because he's a fella who can get scores and a fella who would possibly strike fear into the Dubs defence.”