Thursday 18 January 2018

Future's bright but time for Kerry to blood young stars

Kerry manager Peter Keane celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile
Kerry manager Peter Keane celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Kerry grabbed their small slice of the pie on All-Ireland final day when Peter Keane and his brilliant minor side made it four All-Ireland titles in a row at the grade.

They were fantastic on the day. David Clifford will grab all the headlines and rightly so. It's hard to remember a more talked about talent at this age group and that brings its own pressure, but the Fossa lad never missed a beat. He had the ball in the net inside the firs few seconds and never looked back.

He finished the day with 4-4 and lived up to the hype, but its worth mentioning too that he had plenty of help. Fiachra Clifford grabbed two good goals and Brian Friel notched a couple of nice scores as Derry were completely overpowered.

The display might have a few people down in Kerry getting excited about what is to come and that's understandable, but this underage success comes with a health warning.

Winning titles is great, but Sam Maguire won't automatically come to Kerry for the winter now that we have good underage teams. We have some great talent on the way, but we need to blood them in the right way.

First, we need to do all we can to make sure the likes of Clifford aren't lured to Australia in the same way Mark O'Connor was.

I'd like to see them around the senior panel quickly and have them learn from the likes of David Moran, Paul Geaney and other senior fellas who can show them how it is done.

I've said before that when I joined up with Kerry first, Seamus Moynihan and others had a big influence on me. And what I learned those first few years stuck with me until my last days with Kerry.

We have huge potential but potential is easily squandered.

Irish Independent

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