Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 11 December 2017

Deadline looming for O'Sullivan's return to Kingdom

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry manager Jack O'Connor has cast fresh doubt on the Kerry future of Tom O'Sullivan, admitting that if he is not back in the next two weeks he won't be back at all.

O'Connor is preparing for life without his experienced corner-back, a five-time All-Ireland medal winner, who has not yet returned to training.

"Tom is a laid-back kind of a lad and he will make up his own mind, but he would want to be making it up fairly sharp now because time is moving on and we are going into March," O'Connor said. "I would say if he is not back the week after the Dublin game, he won't be back."

O'Connor, relieved at Kerry's first league win of the campaign, was thrilled with the performance of Eoin Brosnan, at centre-back .

"I thought he was outstanding for a man playing his first game, especially in the first half. He played across the line like he was there all his life and that's a big plus."

Mayo manager James Horan made a point of shaking hands with referee Maurice Deegan as he made his way off McHale Park, but the gesture shouldn't be misplaced for an acknowledgement that the referee had got his call right for the penalty that effectively decided the points.

His view on it was quite the opposite in fact. "I'd be interested to see it on TV but I think it should have been a free out for barging. It was an unbelievable decision to be honest."

Horan, who felt his team's performance was an improvement on the first day, was already looking ahead and urged his men to learn from the mistakes that led to the incident in the first place.

"We had a chance to clear the ball before Darran O'Sullivan got it. That's the root cause. We should have cleared it. Five of their scores came from us coming out with the ball and losing it with the tackle.

"That's where the problem is. That's what we need to address, not the ref's decision. I thought that we should have been able to prevent it. I thought there was a lot of unusual decisions, but there you go."

O'Connor has had cause to bemoan some decisions from referees in the last 12 months, but this time they were in receipt of a generous call.

"What do you want me to say? There are some decisions that go for you and there are some that don't," he said.

"We thought there were a few that went against us in the first round of the league and maybe that was one for us, I'm not sure."

Irish Independent

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