Fitzmaurice happy to be under the radar
FOR much of the last decade, Kerry-Cork clashes have demanded top billing, WRITES DONNCHADH BOYLE.
But performances elsewhere have meant that, ahead of Sunday's Munster SFC final, other counties are ahead of them when potential All-Ireland winners are being talked about. And that is no problem to Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice.
"A lot of people are talking about Donegal and Dublin really," he said. "That suits us fine. I'm sure it suits Cork fine. Cork have been very quiet and, as we know in Kerry, Cork are at their most dangerous when they're quiet like that."
Aidan O'Mahony's elbow injury means Kerry have some reorganising to do in defence, with Mark Griffin in line to start in his place at full-back. O'Mahony's absence could be offset by the return to fitness of captain Eoin Brosnan as the Kingdom look to maintain their winning record over Cork in Killarney that has stood since 1995.
"Whichever team wins it, I'm sure there aren't too many teams coming through the qualifiers that'd like to be drawn against that," added Fitzmaurice.
"Likewise, whichever team loses, if they manage to win their qualifier and come into Croke Park for a quarter-final, I'm not sure too many teams would fancy meeting them.
"There is a lot of familiarity there but both sides have introduced some young players this year and this has brought a degree of freshness. But it is like all the big derbies in all the big sports, whether it be Man Utd/Liverpool or Real Madrid/ Barcelona, or Dublin/Meath, no matter how familiar teams are, no matter how well they are going, it will always be a big game and there's always a likely twist."