Saturday 20 January 2018

Kerry fringe men told to push on

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry talisman Declan O'Sullivan is adamant that the All-Ireland champions will have to take a step backwards in the coming months to ensure they are on the front foot in the summer.

The Kingdom's McGrath Cup success was an unexpected early-season boost but the climb will get steeper over the coming months as the trawl for new players steps up a gear.

The champions have lost three of their All-Ireland-winning team so far, with the threat of more to come, but O'Sullivan's believes it will make the league much more interesting than last year.

"We need to find at least three or four new faces. There were four or five lads on the panel the last three or four years that haven't got a lot of time on the team so those fellas have to push on and make the panel very competitive.

"Now is their time. They need to make the breakthrough now. All that is very healthy. It's going to make for a very interesting year for us and keep every fella on their toes. It's going to be a very exciting league for us."

O'Sullivan, like most of Kerry, is unsure about Darragh O Se's intentions but he feels that the longer there is no firm word from the 34-year-old midfielder, the greater the prospect of his return.

"I don't think anyone can read Darragh's mind. He'll make up his mind in his own time. We'd love to see him stay on for another year and he has a lot to add to us but the longer it goes on, the more hopeful we are that he'll stay on."

O Se did not return until March last year and has learned to preserve his body for a more sustained run later in the season.

Irish Independent

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