Friday 20 September 2019

'David is the leader' – ex-Kerry star O'Sullivan laments Kerry tradition denying Moran captain status

David Moran in action for Kerry against Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
David Moran in action for Kerry against Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

While Gavin White will be the one to collect Sam Maguire should Kerry do the unthinkable and stop Dublin's drive for five in this Sunday's All-Ireland final, Darran O'Sullivan insists that David Moran is "de facto captain" and drives this Kingdom side forward.

The long-standing tradition of the Kerry SFC champions providing the skipper for the senior side has been a talking point for many years and White was handed the responsibility after yet another county title victory for Dr Crokes.

O'Sullivan is well-placed to talk about the role of the skipper having captained the 2009 side to All-Ireland success despite his rookie status and he reckons Moran "is the leader", regardless of whether he carries the tag of captain or not.

"My job was to go up and toss the coin, tell the boys whatever," AIB ambassador O'Sullivan said of being captain ten years ago. "I had the Ó’Sé’s, I had 'Gooch' (Colm Cooper), I had Declan (O'Sullivan), I had (Paul) Galvin, I had (Aidan O) Mahony, the list goes one.

"Our dressing room had fellas who had won numerous All-Irelands. So, it was very different. I was only thinking about this recently and it was something someone was asking me about the county championship at home, playing for Mid-Kerry.

"The team I would love to see winning is the likes of (Kerins) O’Rahillys, for David, because the one thing that is flawed about the rule is the likes of David, is such a leader and would be great.

"Dublin have Cluxton the last couple of years like that. I don’t think it matters, the captaincy, you are literally going up for the toss of a coin. If you are lucky enough to win, you go up and collect the cup.

"David is the leader. David is the man, and he has shown that against Tyrone. He has shown it numerous times this year. So who goes up for the toss of the coin doesn’t matter, David is the leader of that team."

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