Sunday 25 February 2018

O Se calls for Donaghy move to centre stage

Kieran Donaghy shows one of the midfielder's key skills as he fields a high ball ahead of Graham Canty during last year's Munster SFC semi-final replay.
Kieran Donaghy shows one of the midfielder's key skills as he fields a high ball ahead of Graham Canty during last year's Munster SFC semi-final replay.
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Darragh O Se has urged the Kerry football management to give Kieran Donaghy a new lease of life at midfield.

Donaghy, the Kingdom's highly effective target man at full-forward, began inter-county life as a midfielder in 2005, before his dramatic switch to the forward line transformed Kerry's season the following year.

But with no clear picture emerging as to what the best 'post-Darragh' midfield pairing should be, the man himself feels Donaghy may be best equipped to fill in.

Even on a temporary basis, O Se feels it could benefit the players and the team. "I'd like to see Kieran back out there for one or two league games anyway," he said.

"Darran O'Sullivan is playing very well and Declan O'Sullivan is coming back in, but you could throw him (Declan) in at full-forward where he has been effective before.

"I'd say it would do Donaghy's game no end of good to get out around the middle and shake himself up a bit," the midfield legend suggested.


Kerry have been switching between Seamus Scanlon, David Moran and Anthony Maher for a midfield pairing since the start of the season and with Micheal Quirke yet to resume, no clear pattern has emerged.

There are suggestions that the management are seriously looking at deploying Donaghy around the middle again and O Se believes it would be "no harm" to change the perception that Kerry have become somewhat one-dimensional with him at full-forward.

"It's important for Kerry not to go down that road," he said.

"To be fair, when Kieran does get on the ball, a lot of good stuff comes off him.

"I think if they change it around a bit -- he does drift out the field himself from time to time -- it would be no harm and I'd say Kieran would be open to it himself for a game or two.

"I'd like to see him out there just to get his lungs open for a change again. I think it would be a good idea."

O Se, who has been confirmed as a Cadbury's judge for their 'Hero of the Future' competition, feels there has always been a focus on the Kerry midfield, even when he was playing and performing well.

"I was playing for about five or six years when we were getting laced about our midfield, so that's always going to be the case.

"Even after a good game you get laced. Once the management are happy with the players and once the players are playing to a level of confidence, I wouldn't take any notice of it.

"I think the players in the last two games I've seen have shown a good improvement in the way they're playing and they just need to get a bit of time and bedding.

"I wouldn't be overly concerned about it."

Nor has O Se concerns about the make up of a defence that looks set to be pinned together by Eoin Brosnan at centre-back.


"We have a good number of backs," he said. "Killian Young is coming back, Aidan O'Mahony is going well, Marc O Se is going well. You have Padraig Reidy, Shane Enright, Jonathan Lyne, so we're well served with backs.

"It's just about getting the right combination now at this stage.

"Eoin Brosnan had a very good game the last day as well. It's interesting times going forward over the next few league games and what way they line out."

The An Ghaeltacht midfielder revealed that he has never been tempted to come out of retirement since making the decision 12 months ago, nor had he ever been approached to return.

"It would have been the wrong decision by me to come back and it would have been the wrong decision by Kerry," he said. "There'd be no winners there.

"To be fair, in the first couple of league games I've seen this year, the best club players in Kerry are getting their chance.

"The younger guys that have come in -- Jonathan Lyne, Shane Enright, the Geaneys -- they've all played well, so there's room for optimism.

"I've been impressed by what I've seen so far."

Irish Independent

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