Saturday 21 July 2018

'GAA analysis is black and white, it can be hysterical' - Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Photo: Sportsfile
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice has hit out at "knee-jerk and hysterical" reaction to Galway's much-changed approach this season ahead of their eagerly-anticipated 'Super 8s' clash in Croke Park tomorrow (4.0).

The addition of ex-Tyrone coach Paddy Tally to Kevin Walsh's backroom team has helped the Tribesmen tighten up in defence, conceding just four goals in 11 league and championship games this year.

That change in approach has drawn the ire of some analysts, but not Fitzmaurice, who labelled them "hard to beat" and insisted that some pundits "need to be heard".

"Galway's methods have been questioned but they have been very successful. They are very hard to beat. They have only lost one game this year, against Dublin in a league final. That's no mean feat," Fitzmaurice (above) said.

"As they showed against Roscommon in the second half of the Connacht final, if they need to come out and go after a game and play expansively, they can do that as well and they have the players to do that.

"The analysis is black and white and it can be knee-jerk and hysterical. That's the nature of that business as well. You need to be heard, especially as it becomes a more crowded marketplace. A lot of the analysis can be hysterical.

"I don't think Kevin Walsh is too worried about it. I think he is looking at their results and the way they are performing, how they can improve and I don't expect them to change just because X, Y or Z is giving out about them."

mettle The Kingdom step into the unknown as the 'Super 8s commence, but Fitzmaurice is relishing the challenge against top-tier opposition for the first time in this year's championship campaign.

"They have a strong squad. They are used to Kevin Walsh and his methods at this stage, they are well bedded in to what they are doing. They can play it a couple of different ways, they have talent and depth," he said.

"Undoubtedly, they will be the biggest test we have had so far in the championship. They are the first Division 1 team we are coming up against. We know that but we are ready for that test as well."

Fitzmaurice makes one change for the clash at GAA HQ with Kevin McCarthy coming in for Micheál Burns as the Munster champions look to get off to a flyer.

Elsewhere, Kilkenny boss Brian Cody has made two changes for their All-Ireland SHC quarter-final clash with Limerick tomorrow (2.0) as ace attacker Walter Walsh is ruled out through injury.

The Tullogher-Rosbercon forward picked up a groin injury in their Leinster final replay defeat to Galway last Sunday, but they have a suitable replacement in Colin Fennelly while Martin Keoghan comes in for John Donnelly.

There's no starting place for former Hurler of the Year Richie Hogan, who is likely to be used an an impact substitute yet again as they look to book their place in the last four.

John Kiely's Treaty welcomes back Sean Finn and Darragh O'Donovan into his side as Richie McCarthy and William O'Donoghue drop to the bench.

Irish Independent

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