Friday 28 April 2017

Be patient with minor winners - Fitz

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick / SPORTSFILE
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice is ready to integrate more of the trio of All-Ireland-winning minor teams into his senior set-up this year but has cautioned the need for patience.

Fitzmaurice will strengthen the Kerry team with the introduction of a number of regulars for Sunday's McGrath Cup match with Cork in Mallow.

Kerry fielded an U-21 team, managed by Jack O'Connor, against Tipperary last Sunday and they won comfortably.

"The big advantage that we have this year is that there were so many of the U-21s training with us last summer and we know what they are capable of. We have a much better feel for them than we would have had this time last year," he said.

"I do think that we all have to be patient. I have to be patient because it's a big step up and we have to develop the players at a rate that's realistic."

Despite being out of the championship at the end of August, Fitzmaurice resisted the temptation to return to full training in December. Instead they only return this week.

"We could have done a bit of training in December but we felt it would be counter-productive. A lot of the lads had played plenty of football and we just felt that there would be something fresh about coming back at the start of January and getting ready to go again."

Kerry's Dr Crokes players will not be involved in the first two rounds of the league, while Stephen O'Brien and Darran O'Sullivan's involvement in club championship activity later this month will limit their time with the county.

Irish Independent

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