Sugrue "out of the equation"

Timmy Sheehan

Kerry Under-21 manager Jack O'Connor has all but ruled out team captain Brian Sugrue's participation in this weekend's All Ireland U-21 football championship semi-final with Galway in Ennis (Saturday, throw in 4.30pm).

The Renard man was forced to withdraw from the fray during the Munster final in Pairc Uí Rinn with what turned out to be a dislocated knee-cap. He was replaced in that game by Austin Stacks' Jack Morgan and would likely be replaced by him again should he be, as seems likely, unable to participate in Cusack Park.

"It looks like Brian Sugrue is out of the equation," O'Connor confirmed this week. "He dislocated his knee cap, so it looks like he is gone. He is getting it checked out but it doesn't sound great when you dislocate your knee cap. He had a similar injury last year so that's a blow to him and to us.

"There is one or two other fellows who have strains and stuff so we will assess them as the week goes on. Overall, we are not too bad outside of Brian."

Kerry are raging hot favourites for the game with the Tribesmen and aside from having to deal with Sugrue's likely absence, the Kerry boss has a panoply of options from which to choose.

At midfield for instance he might be tempted to re-call Barry O'Sullivan to the side, but given how well Andrew Barry and Brian Ó Seanacháin performed there in the Munster final the Dingle man might find it hard to break back into the side.

That, of course, speaks to a very healthy level of competition within the group and gives O'Connor great tactical flexibility as he explained.

"I know it's a cliché, but sometimes it's a bit like horses for courses," he said.

"We picked a team the last day with a big emphasis on pace in the team because Cork are notorious for breaking out of defence, making overlaps, and we were very conscious of that.

"Now, the next day might be different, might be a different story and we will have a look at Galway and pick the team accordingly.

"So within reason there is not going to be any massive difference, maybe one or two alterations that we will make to match up with the opposition."

Meanwhile, Kerry minor team manager Peter Keane has named his side for tonight's [Wednesday] Munster minor football championship semi-final with Clare in Austin Stack Park (throw in 7pm).

The side contains just four of the side who faced Galway in last year's All Ireland minor final - Michael Potts, Diarmuid O'Connor, Brian Friel and captain David Clifford - as Kerry embark upon a campaign to win a fifth Munster title in-a-row.

Kerry (minors v Clare): Deividas Uosis (Dingle), Ryan O'Neill (Na Gaeil), Chris O'Donoghue (Glenflesk), Sean O'Leary (Kilcummin), Michael Potts (Dr Crokes), Eddie Horan (Scartaglin), Patrick Warren (Gneeveguilla), Barry Mahony (St Senans), Diarmuid O'Connor (Na Gaeil), Adam Donoghue (Castleisland Desmonds), Brian Friel (Rathmore), Fiáchra Clifford (Laune Rangers), Donchadh O'Sullivan (Firies), David Clifford (Fossa), Donal O'Sullivan (Kilgarvan)

Subs: Nelu O'Doherty (Dr Crokes), Ciarán O'Reilly (Austin Stacks), Niall Donohue (Firies), Michael Slattery (Austin Stacks), Michael O'Leary (Renard), Jack Griffin (Dr Crokes), Dylan Casey (Austin Stacks), Cathal Ferriter (Annascaul), Mark Ashe (Dingle)


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