Friday 20 April 2018

Donaghy and Cooper set to make Kerry return in 2017

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Aidan O'Mahony's departure will mark the last of the Kerry retirements in advance of the forthcoming League and Championship, Donnchadh Walsh has predicted.

The All-Star wing-forward, entering his 10th campaign as a Kerry senior footballer, believes that there is now greater certainty around the availability of the more experienced players.

Marc Ó Sé and O'Mahony have called time on their careers since the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin last August but Colm Cooper, Kieran Donaghy and Bryan Sheehan appear to have committed for 2017.

Cooper has said he will wait until Dr Crokes' involvement in the All-Ireland club championship is at an end before confirming a decision, while Donaghy continues to play basketball with Tralee Warriors and has also put off a decision.

But Walsh expects to see them.

"I'm fairly confident that will be it," he said. "We'll be putting the head down and knowing the numbers we have for the rest of the year.

"They're definitely back as far as I can see. You don't like that uncertainty so it is a good boost."

O'Mahony (36) announced his departure in a statement yesterday.

Walsh admitted he was "surprised" by O'Mahony's decision because of the physical shape he was in.

"I've met him in the gym the last couple of weeks and he's still in incredible shape," he said.

"It looked like he was maintaining it to give it another year so, a bit of a surprise. He probably had made his mind up a while ago.

"There was no problem in his physical ability to go on."

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