Monday 11 December 2017

Kerry U-21 boss says players too weak

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

KERRY must improve the strength and conditioning of their underage players, according to their U-21 boss after they suffered a record defeat to arch-rivals Cork in the Munster final.

The record 22-point loss immediately raised alarm bells in the Kingdom, but their U-21 boss John Kennedy said it was Cork's physicality that was the huge difference.

"In Kerry we've always had the skills and footballers, but maybe it's time we looked more at developing our young players' core strength and conditioning," he said. "We already have programmes in place, but it takes three to four years before you see a difference. Cork had huge men and their physicality was outstanding."

Wednesday's result -- 2-24 to 0-8 -- actually continued the trend of remarkably one-sided results that have alternated between the two counties in recent years.

Last year Kerry won 0-19 to 1-8 in a Munster U-21 quarter-final and a year earlier the Rebels won at the same stage on a 1-17 to 0-9 scoreline.

The closest match between them at this level recently was in 2008, when Kerry won by five points. Kennedy added that developing players who are progressing to the county senior team should be how Kerry judge their underage success and that this is clearly happening.

Elsewhere, Donegal will be going to next week's Congress in Mullingar with cap in hand after it emerged they need to find nearly half a million euro to finance the county's affairs this year.

Donegal have a projected shortfall of €486,400 this year due to the cost of developing their new Centre of Excellence in Convoy and will be seeking a loan from Croke Park. The board's projected spending for 2011 is over €1.1m while their estimated income is €681,250, but a new fund-raising committee has been set up and they have asked their senior football management to make cut-backs.

Irish Independent

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