Friday 24 February 2017

Kingdom's underage focus bearing great fruit

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

'There’s a huge amount of work and coaching being done in Kerry’s clubs, everyone has upskilled and raised the level in the county.' Stock photo: Sportsfile
'There’s a huge amount of work and coaching being done in Kerry’s clubs, everyone has upskilled and raised the level in the county.' Stock photo: Sportsfile

While it's disappointing not to be coming to Croke Park to watch the Kerry seniors, it's comforting to know that the future is bright with another brilliant minor crop in this year's final.

Three in a row would be an incredible achievement and I can tell you that there's another two fine teams coming at U16 and U17. But this is a super minor team and I'm confident that at least half of them have the potential to play at the top level.

That would be unheard of in Kerry, or anywhere else, but they're being led down the right road by Peter Keane and Tommy Griffin, and of course Jack O'Connor, who was in charge for their first two All-Ireland wins.

There's a huge amount of work and coaching being done in Kerry's clubs, everyone has upskilled and raised the level in the county. It's bearing fruit now and I can continue to see it bearing fruit in the future.

This didn't happen overnight and former Kerry player Donal Daly deserves a lot of the credit. There was a lot of soul searching, a lot of hours spent planning our future and now we have an underage system to be proud of.

At club and development squad level, everyone has improved because they were made more accountable and now you have exciting prospects like Micheál Foley, Seán O'Shea and David Clifford excelling at minor level.

If I know anything about football, three or four of the forwards will be serious contenders for starting places with the seniors in the next five years and there's some wonderful athletes coming through, which is important in the modern game.

We've always had good skills but astute planning has helped us to produce some hugely athletic players with the skill levels to match. With what I see at development squad level, we haven't gone away just yet.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport