Tuesday 27 September 2016

'I'll go on record...Dublin stole Sam Maguire off us in 2011' - Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

Kerry players Bryan Sheehan, left, and Aidan O'Mahony after defeat against Dublin in 2011
Kerry players Bryan Sheehan, left, and Aidan O'Mahony after defeat against Dublin in 2011
Dublin have won the last three meetings between the sides and Sheehan expects his side to deliver a big performance. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan "doesn't see how Dublin can be hungrier" than his side ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final showdown on Sunday.

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Dublin have won the last three meetings between the sides and Sheehan expects his side to deliver a big performance.

"I don't see any reason why we can't bring it," he said. "I don't see how they can be hungrier than we are.

"They are the All-Ireland champions and have beaten us in 2013, 2015, in the league - if you haven't got more in the gut to win a breaking ball or track a run than what Dublin have, then something is wrong with you.

"I think, for us, that's the key: that we should be more hungry than Dublin. But that's easier said than done.

"I'm sure Dublin are going to be hungry. They don't like losing to Kerry. They have an All-Ireland title. They don't want to be dethroned.

Read more: Conundrums to send Kerry think-tank into overdrive

"They want to go for the two-in-a-row that hasn't been done since we did it in '06 and '07. I imagine they're going to be hungry but I don't see how they should be hungrier than us."

Sheehan admits that Kerry will have less of the ball than they are used to this weekend but believes their forwards can still do enough damage up front to win the game.

"Look at the calibre of forwards we have - ferocious," he said. "Competition within the team is phenomenal. The last couple of years, an awful lot about Dublin is their kick-outs, they hold possession.

"Against other teams you might have 65-70pc possession. Against Dublin, you might only have 40-45pc. When you have it, you have to be very economical with it.

"I think that's where we were let down in the All-Ireland final. We weren't economical with the ball. We wasted opportunities."

And Sheehan reckons those recent defeats to the Dubs will drive them on this weekend.

Read more: O'Keeffe: Kingdom are the one team that can beat Dubs  

"It probably is (motivation), to a certain degree. It's not going to be all the motivation. You've an All-Ireland semi-final - if that's not motivation enough, forget about it.

"In 2011, I felt we were the better team. I'll go on record - they stole that one off us. We let it slip through our hands; 2013 I thought was probably one of the best games of football ever played. It came down to (Kevin McManamon) going for a point more so than a goal. Just slipped in. They won it.

"Then I think 2015 we just didn't perform to our capabilities. So I think we're more than capable of beating Dublin. Fear is not an issue."

Irish Independent

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