Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 24 September 2017

Coffey: Kildare a slick machine after four years of conditioning

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Offaly manager Tom Coffey has likened the Kildare football team to a "machine".

Coffey, who takes his charges into a first-round qualifier against Tipperary on Saturday night, has said he was almost reminded of the All Blacks as the Lilywhites tore his side asunder in the recent Leinster quarter-final in Portlaoise.

"They have serious athletes and they're just a machine," said the Offaly boss. "At the minute, they'd nearly remind you of the All Blacks, the way they've prepared.

"They've got the result there against Tyrone and they've got the silverware in the league. I just think they're very strong all over.

"The bottom line is that four years' conditioning showed, even at the end of the first half they had us out on our feet. They were getting into full swing at that stage."

Coffey was speaking at the launch of a 100km cycle in aid of two-year-old Tadhg Carroll, who has a rare condition called AHC which causes repeated attacks of paralysis. Offaly will be boosted by the return of Niall McNamee, who came on as a substitute against Kildare at half-time after recovering from injury.

Fitness

"At the last minute we were given the green light from the medical people," said Coffey. "Obviously, Niall will take a while to get up to match fitness and get the co-ordination and everything working perfectly but he's 100pc.

"We probably have four or five sessions before the Tipperary game but to go in at the start having been out of football for the last seven to nine months, it's just hard to reach that level straight away."

Coffey says Offaly football will have to collectively change its mindset if it wants to compete and hints at big calls being made in the months ahead.

"Even if a guy is one of your better players or lower down the ladder, the call will have to be made and you'll have to move on.

"It's not working the way it has been. We'll just have to get everyone on board and committed. When you get that commitment you get a great bond in a team and lads don't mind doing it because they know everyone's doing it so it's easier to go through the pain barrier."

Irish Independent

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