Monday 11 December 2017

Donaghy backs Moran to play key role for Kerry

David Moran: Donaghy support
David Moran: Donaghy support
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kieran Donaghy has backed David Moran to step up to the mark and become a cornerstone of Kerry's future plans.

After the champions got their first win of the league campaign, Donaghy sounded notes of optimism that they can recover from the loss of so many players to retirement and AFL.

Moran has struggled over the last 12 months to live up to the potential his game hints so strongly at but he turned impressive provider for man-of-the-match Donaghy in Tralee on Sunday as Kerry put Derry to the sword, prompting the big full-forward to acknowledge his colleague's ability.

"It is going to take him a few weeks to get used to playing that role of being the provider," said Donaghy.

"He has been used playing around midfield so this new role on the 40 is tough to get used to. But he has been working really hard in training and you would be looking towards the summer and hoping that he would have that role perfected."

Newcomer David O'Callaghan's impact at half-forward was also praised by Donaghy, who believes success in last year's league didn't do them any favours.

"I thought we failed to find out anything about ourselves last year in the league. We won every game and drew with Dublin in Parnell Park, so we learned nothing about ourselves. Then we went down to Pairc Ui Chaoimh in the championship and Cork sent us packing," he said.

"I think it's better this year because we found out a few things in the first two games which we lost and we can learn from those and work on things and build for the future."

Donaghy feels Kerry are now well placed to overcome the loss of Tommy Walsh and Tadhg Kennelly to Australia and Diarmuid Murphy, Sean O'Sullivan, Darragh O Se and probably Mike McCarthy to retirement.

"There is great experience there and lads will be getting more experience as the league goes on, so with Tomas (O Se) and Paul (Galvin) to come back in as well I would not exactly say that we are in dire straits," he said.

"We are trying to come to terms with the loss of so many quality players and it's tough early days, but I'd be hoping that, come the championship, we'll be adjusted to life without the lads and ready for battle."

Irish Independent

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