Thursday 8 December 2016

Kerry's baffling substitution policy did not help their cause

Published 28/09/2015 | 02:30

The fact that Tommy Walsh, after a year back playing Gaelic football following his stint in Aussie Rules, did not feature was also a mystery
The fact that Tommy Walsh, after a year back playing Gaelic football following his stint in Aussie Rules, did not feature was also a mystery

Many untypical things took place in the Kerry sideline and dugout in last week's final, including the substitutions which amazed so many and not just Kerry supporters.

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But that is the prerogative of the team manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his selectors, Mikey Sheehy, Cian O'Neill and Diarmuid Murphy.

Taking off James O'Donoghue and not introducing Kieran Donaghy much, much sooner were the things that surprised me most.

But the situation regarding Colm Cooper and his dismantling by Philly McMahon - while definitely a shock to see Cooper being made into a corner-back in effect - should have required drastic action, something that Fitzmaurice has never been afraid of up to now.

Cooper should have been taken off for the good of the team and replaced by one of their other forwards because when a forward is under the thumb of an adventurous defender like McMahon there is no point in switching because some other back will simply do the same job.

The fact that Tommy Walsh, after a year back playing Gaelic football following his stint in Aussie Rules, did not feature was also a mystery.

How the Kerry supporters must regret the absence of public training sessions as in the past - then the public might have had a better idea as to how Walsh was performing prior to the game.

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