Sean O'Shea looking forward to new season with old boss

Sean O’Shea of UCC and Kerry, left, at the launch of the Sigerson Cup in Dublin
Sean O’Shea of UCC and Kerry, left, at the launch of the Sigerson Cup in Dublin

Aside from IT Tralee's involvement in the Sigerson Cup there will be plenty more Kerry men playing Third-Level Colleges football over the next few weeks, spread out over several colleges and universities across Munster and beyond. Some of the more notable footballers expected to feature in the Sigerson Cup are Sean O'Shea (UCC), Gavin White (UL), Barry O'Sullivan (UCD), Gavin O'Brien (CIT), Paudie Clifford (UCC), Padraig Lucey (UCC), Ronan Buckley (UCC), Niall Donahue (CIT) and Donnacha O'Sullivan (CIT).

O'Shea will be in high demand over the next few weeks starting with UCC's Sigerson game against Athlone IT this week as well as training and then playing with Kerry in the National League, starting with the visit of Tyrone to Killarney on Sunday week. Needless to say at the Higher Education Championships launch in Dublin last week much of the conversation with the Kenmare man turned to Kerry football.

"Every year down in Kerry for our supporters and players alike, if you don't have an All-Ireland at the end of the year it's not a successful year, no matter whether you win the league or a Munster Championship," O'Shea said. "That's the benchmark, that's the gauge for Kerry football and it has been forever really and it probably won't change either. Every year at the start, every competition you enter you want to win it really.

"The squad will be younger than previous years and fellas will be making debuts and looking for game-time and other fellas trying to get a place for the championship and put their name forward," O'Shea, still only 20-years of age, added.

"For most young fellas in Kerry the goal is to play for Kerry and win All-Irelands with Kerry and play in Croke Park for Kerry, so I presume most fellas would be looking to push on. There is good talent in the county at the moment. It's great to have (Tommy Walsh) around the place. He's obviously a very powerful man, strong, a good target man and stuff like that. Just looking forward to playing with him as well and experiencing that too."

Having made his Kerry senior debut last year under manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, O'Shea heads into his sophomore year under a new - though familiar boss, Peter Keane.

"He's been in charge of the last three winning minor teams. He's been there on All-Ireland final day and he's got that experience. I had a year (of) minor with Peter so I know him well enough. He's very good and looks after us very well. He has a good backroom team around him and it's good, I'm looking forward to it," O'Shea, a final year Arts student, said.