Monday 22 January 2018

Kingdom quartet ready to return

KERRY football manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
KERRY football manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry football manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has conceded that Anthony Maher and James O'Donoghue may not have any involvement in their Allianz League campaign.

Maher and O'Donoghue have missed the opening five games as they recover from hip and shoulder operations respectively.

March had been mentioned as a possible target for return earlier in the year but Fitzmaurice now thinks that they won't be back for their remaining games against Monaghan and Cork.

But Killian Young and David Moran, who have missed the three consecutive wins, Tommy Walsh, who has sat out the last two games, and Paul Geaney are all slated to be on board for the Monaghan game in Clones.

Team captain Bryan Sheehan admits they will appreciate the two-week break after three consecutive weekends of activity.

"Momentum is a big thing and winning is a habit but three games in three weeks is tough going, especially at this level. It might be no harm to get a bit of down time, maybe put more work into the legs again this week."

Like last year's captain Kieran Donaghy, Sheehan has bounced straight back into action after a hectic club season that didn't wind up until February with St Mary's All-Ireland intermediate club success.

He has spoken to Donaghy about the risk of over-extending himself through this period. "I spoke to Kieran, he was very good. He offered me his advice because he was in this position last year. I spoke to Eamonn about it as well," he said.

"Things are just working out. If anything happens, if it comes down the line that the body is feeling a bit tired or if mentally I'm not feeling right, we'll cross that bridge."

Kerry are close to making the league semi-finals for the first since 2012 but Sheehan knows the pitfalls. "Unfortunately, we've been here before and not qualified for a league semi-final. I think we had six points and avoided relegation too on score difference."

Irish Independent

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