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Kingdom to rule over Tipp

THE only real significance of Eamonn Fitzmaurice's maiden team selection as Kerry manager on Thursday night was the positioning of his forwards.

Because, as the League brutally demonstrated, Kerry haven't got a layer of quality lying underneath the current crop to seamlessly take over in the near future and if Fitzmaurice is to be successful as their new manager, his primary job is not the harvesting of the bloom of youth, but the more effective utilisation of the same players who weren't good enough to win the last three All-Irelands.

Gooch (pictured) at centre-forward seems, in light of a couple of mediocre summers, sensible. But as ever with Kerry's attack, an in-form Kieran Donaghy remains utterly key.

Similarly Declan O'Sullivan, once regarded as the Rolls Royce of centre-forwards, in a roving corner-forward role. Of course, this could all just be smoke and mirrors from a Kerry management developing a penchant for such matters but it worked so well for 35 minutes against Tyrone in their final League match, it's sure to be implemented now, at least in the early throes of their Munster campaign.

Either way, Tipp won't be next to nor near them at full-time tomorrow.

ODDS: Kerry 1/33, Draw 25/1, Tipperary 12/1