Wednesday 18 October 2017

'O'Donoghue's return to form could spark big things for Kerry' - Ó Sé

All-Ireland winning star Marc Ó Sé of Kerry pictured at the GAA Headquarters for the launch of this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tour Series. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
All-Ireland winning star Marc Ó Sé of Kerry pictured at the GAA Headquarters for the launch of this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tour Series. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Having regularly pitted his wits against James O'Donoghue during the latter stages of a stellar Kerry career, Marc Ó Sé knows exactly what the Kingdom sharpshooter is capable of producing on his day and believes his fitness is key to their All-Ireland credentials this year.

Despite little game time during an injury-interrupted league campaign, the 2014 Footballer of the Year reminded everyone of his scoring prowess against Clare last weekend hitting four points from play in a nine-point haul.

At just 26, the Legion attacker has the capabilities to torment defences for years to come and five-time All-Ireland winner Ó Sé feels O'Donoghue's presence now offers a twin threat alongside Paul Geaney which would strike fear into any opposition.

"The great thing about James is that he's direct and he takes you on. I would try to stop him up before he'd get that kind of momentum but his left and his right the last day, he's very strong and he's actually bulked up even more now since 2013 and 2014," Ó Sé said as he launched the Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tours at Croke Park yesterday.

"He'll be a tough challenge for any corner-back to take on this year. If he can keep clear of injuries then that game will bring his confidence on no end. The big thing is injuries, that's the only thing that has been keeping James back.

Confidence

"For a forward to do what he did the last day, that will give him great confidence. You're now not just relying on Paul Geaney, you have another fella, can you imagine if you could have the two of them going well on a given day?

"That would be a tough challenge for any full-back line, or any blanket defence, to deal with. He had a non-existent league campaign so the important thing is just to get another game, and another game, and if he can do that it'll be huge for Kerry."

With Kerry chasing a five-in-a-row in Munster against a Cork side which has stuttered to the final with one-point wins over Waterford and Tipperary, Ó Sé feels the Rebels can't rely on the brilliance of Paul Kerrigan and Donncha O'Connor forever.

"It doesn't seem as if there's any leadership coming from anywhere except the senior players. Paul Kerrigan, he's really led, Donncha O'Connor as well but they're not going to be around forever. It must come from the top down, from the manager down.

"And it doesn't appear that's happening. You're looking at them and the way they're setting up, they're not even able to deal with blanket defences. It just doesn't seem as if there's any leadership coming at all."

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