A game too soon for Enright

Shane Enright of Kerry with the Sam Maguire Cup during the GAA Hurling and Football All Ireland Senior Championship Series National Launch at Dun Aengus in the Aran Islands on Tuesday morning. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Shane Enright of Kerry with the Sam Maguire Cup during the GAA Hurling and Football All Ireland Senior Championship Series National Launch at Dun Aengus in the Aran Islands on Tuesday morning. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jason O'Connor

Shane Enright appears to be Kerry's main absentee again heading into the start of their Super 8s campaign against Galway in Croke Park this Sunday.

While Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice says Enright has returned to the training pitch with the rest of the panel, he still feels the game might be a bit too soon for the Tarbert player.

"That might change over the sessions we have before the game but at the moment it is looking unlikely," Fitzmaurice said of Enright's prospects for Sunday.

Fitzmaurice also confirmed that Fionn Fitzgerald is still very much a part of the panel despite not featuring in the 26 man squad named for the Munster Final victory over Cork.

The Dr Crokes player was nominated by the Killarney side to captain Kerry this year but club-mate Shane Murphy has assumed the captain's armband in his absence.

"There's no story to it [Fitzgerald's absence from selection], it's purely on form that we are picking the panel at the moment and all the players have bought into the panel ethos that we are using," the Kerry boss said.

The possibility of a four game run in five weeks in a bid to make an All-Ireland Final was highlighted by Fitzmaurice as creating the potential for a large player turnover in the coming games to cope with the schedule as he expressed his sympathy for supporters caught between wanting to see the game and the World Cup Final in Russia which is kicking off at the same time.

"I've had experience of this as player when Ireland were playing Spain in the World Cup in 2002 and we were preparing for a Munster semi-final with Cork the same time and we had a League Final with Galway in Limerick in 2006 that was on the same day as Munster and Leinster in a Heineken Cup semi-final.

"This year we had it as well with the Kildare game in the League being on the same day as the Grand Slam match between Ireland and England. I understand when a World Cup Final is something that only happens once every four years people want to see it, but for us we will be in our own little bubble preparing for our game."

When asked at last Friday's press conference if the onset of the Super 8s has hastened the move towards the younger players featuring in the set-up now, Fitzmaurice feels it's more the timing of their development than the change in competition.

"If the Super 8 had been in for last year I think we might have only used some of the new guys for one game.

"It's really that they are physically ready for the challenge of senior football this year that we are focussing on them so much in our plans."

Kerryman

News