Sunday 25 February 2018

'He is a force of nature who knows no pain' - Joe Brolly on the man who could stop Lee Keegan

Could Paul Murphy be deployed on Lee Keegan this Sunday?
Could Paul Murphy be deployed on Lee Keegan this Sunday?
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Everyone is waiting to see who Mayo star Lee Keegan will be tasked with shadowing in this Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry - but Joe Brolly thinks Eamonn Fitzmaurice should flip the usual dynamic on its head with a tactical move of his own.

Four-time All Star Keegan is generally tasked with marking the opposition's key dangerman, regularly negating their attacking game while still raiding forward for scores himself.

There are a myriad of threats that Keegan could try to neutralise against Kerry this weekend, but Brolly feels that Fitzmaurice and the Kingdom would be best served by challenging the Mayo half back at this own game.

Speaking to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast, Brolly stated that Kerry should stick one of their best man-markers on Keegan, sacrificing a half back in order to dull the 2016 Player of the Year's influence.

"The smart move there, and it is something he [Eamonn Fitzmaurice] can afford to do because Mayo aren't hectic in that area, is to put Paul Murphy on him," Brolly said.

"Paul, like Lee, and I say this as a compliment, is an absolute pig on the field. He knows no pain and knows no boundaries competitively and is a force of nature. You could identify that from a very early stage. Mentally, he has no boundaries and he would have no issue with it.

"Psychologically, let's look at Lee - he goes on to a big name on the opposing team and he takes him to pieces and goes on to flourish himself. But always, it is Lee's job to mark the other guy and that is the dynamic, so it is a very, very smart move. Man-markers hate it when man-markers come to them, especially someone like Lee who relies on being able to get free and kick points and goals."

Keegan has enjoyed another stellar season with Mayo, and although he missed out on the All-Ireland quarter-final replay rout of Roscommon with a foot injury, he is expected to line out against Kerry on Saturday.

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