Monday 29 December 2014

No Kingdom 'quick-fix' warns coach

Published 14/02/2013 | 04:00

KERRY team trainer Cian O'Neill has warned that the next wave of Kingdom players will need time to develop, WRITES Donnchadh Boyle.

The Kingdom have endured a torrid start to the league, losing heavily to both Mayo and Dublin, with some of Eamonn Fitzmaurice's new faces coming under fire for below-par performances.

Kerry may be forced to recall some of their frontline players sooner than expected as they sit bottom of Division 1, but O'Neill insisted that a 'quick-fix' is not the best way forward for this Kerry side.

"The one thing that disappoints me with new managers is that they focus on instant gratification. When they come in and their main goal appears to be results.

"It is very unfortunate for the younger developmental players coming through, because it's all about the next match and the next match, as opposed to looking at the bigger picture."

O'Neill helped the Tipperary hurlers to All-Ireland success in 2010 and worked with the Mayo footballers last year before switching to Kerry to assist Fitzmaurice and he has been impressed with the Kingdom squad.

"No matter how strong, how technically proficient they are, (players) can always improve. The one thing I feel that would separate Kerry players from other players that I worked with as a team or as a squad, is their fundamental skill levels and understanding of the game, it's superior to most other counties and their record proves that."

And while some observers have felt the Kingdom have lost out physically in their games this year, O'Neill maintains there will be no dramatic change in physique ahead of their league campaign.

"There is no plan to bulk up the Kerry players, we just want to increase their athletic prowess and that makes them stronger, more explosive more powerful – that will be part and parcel of the process, but there certainly will be no overt plan to change the way Kerry play football."

Irish Independent

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