Saturday 22 July 2017

O'Sullivan wants Kerry to bounce back and banish final ghosts

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry's Darran O'Sullivan believes that the ghosts of All-Ireland final defeat will not be properly exorcised for him until the team return to win another one.

The flying half-forward, who was shortlisted for Footballer of the Year, says a defeat can really get in on some players, who, like him, devote a lot of thought to the game -- especially when they lose.

"I think about this stuff all the time. I will think about the All-Ireland we've just lost until we go back," O'Sullivan said.

"If you win it, you enjoy it for a few weeks and then you forget about it. But if you lose, there are all the 'ifs' and 'buts' and what have you. That's when you really start thinking about it."

O'Sullivan is preparing for a county final with Mid-Kerry against Dr Crokes on Sunday, where victory would put him in line with Donnchadh Walsh to captain the Kingdom in 2012.

"Obviously, I would love the chance to captain Kerry again," he said at yesterday's launch of Xbox's latest instalment of Kinect Sports 2. "Hopefully, we will win on Sunday but, if we do, I would expect Donnchadh would get it. He would be deserving of it, because he would be one of the first names I would put on any team. He works so hard."

"If we do win on Sunday, I would be hopeful he will get the chance to lead Kerry next year. It's only fair that the other guys get a chance. Having said that, if I got the chance to captain Kerry again, I wouldn't turn it down."

According to O'Sullivan , the disappointment of missing out on an International Rules tour to Australia has receded, but he re-iterated his call for better provision to be made in the future for players caught up with club commitments.

"The season is long enough. Surely there could be a three -- or four-week period when games involving players chosen for the International Rules team are put on hold," he said.

"It's just a bit of common sense really. I've been saying it -- and other fellas have already said it -- that, as an amateur, you're not going to get too many chances to play for your country.

"It's one of those things you don't want to miss out on. Having said that, your club is your club.

"Being away with the county team for so long, you owe it to your clubmates to play with them.

"But having a bit of leeway would make things a lot easier. Clubs would know where they stood and you wouldn't be coming and going or putting anyone out by going away."

Irish Independent

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