Sunday 11 December 2016

Prodigal son Walsh tipped to make mark once again for Kingdom

Published 02/12/2016 | 02:30

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"It's a very tight line between being on the team and being off the panel in any county. I was involved with Cork for 10 years and it was the same in Cork. I think that maybe when he came back from Australia he was brought into the panel maybe too soon. All players should be allowed to get back with their clubs for maybe 12 months and then challenge for a position on the county panel. I think he still has a lot to offer."

O'Sullivan went on to suggest that he'll use the 2009 All-Ireland winner in the full-forward line, with a view to switching him further out the field..

"I think (his best position is) full-forward at the moment. Then again it's a bit like Gary Brennan who we have also. Gary can easily rotate between full-forward and midfield and I think that because of their fetching ability that now and again during a game play them at full-forward but allow them every now and then to go to midfield. Especially with the trialling of the mark now again the next day, there might be an opportunity to bring them out."

captain

Along with Walsh and Brennan, O'Sullivan will be able to call on the likes of Tipperary All-Star Michael Quinlivan, while Kerry's Aidan O'Mahony will captain the side.

Meanwhile, Connacht football manager John Tobin believes the much maligned interprovincal series should be played on the same weekend of the All-Ireland finals. Tobin steered Connacht to their first football title in 45 years in 2014.

"I just think that there may be an opportunity to look at playing it on the Friday night and Saturday night before the All-Ireland final.

"There are no club games, there's a break in all of the championships, most of the inter-county players are around Dublin that weekend anyway.

"Now, it'll exclude the players from the two teams that are in the All-Ireland final, but, invariably, some of those would be unavailable to you anyway.

"But the other players would love coming, you could have the semi-finals on the Friday and the final at 7.30 on the Saturday evening in Parnell Park, I think it would generate a great buzz.

"You have lots of supporters coming to Dublin that weekend too for All-Ireland weekend and on the Saturday evening they're looking for something to do. I think it's one way in which you could get the public to come and see it and support it.

"And it also creates another dimension to All-Ireland weekend. It's a footballing weekend, you have the All-Ireland sevens in Kilmacud which already attracts a crowd."

Irish Independent

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