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Liston backs returning star to play in defence

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Eoin Liston

Eoin Liston

SPORTSFILE

Eoin Liston

Kerry legend Eoin 'Bomber' Liston has revealed his shock at the return of Paul Galvin to the Kerry panel and feels his best chance of playing is in the backline.

With a wealth of attacking talent available to Fitzmaurice, Liston feels that Galvin, who won four All Ireland titles as a forward with Kerry, will adopt a more defensive role.

"I was shocked initially, I am still a bit shocked," said Liston. "Then I was thinking and seeing what logic is behind it. I am trying to put myself in the position of the management team. I would think it's to come back as a defender, initially as cover, and to make it competitive in training and then to see if he can win a place.

"There is a huge competition for places in the half- forward line. Michael Geaney, Donnchadh Walsh, Darran O'Sullivan, Johnny Buckley, Gooch and Tommy Walsh. They are well covered there."

But Liston feels the return of Galvin after his 13-month retirement will offer Kerry football plenty of experience and a viable option in defence as well an undoubted boost on the training pitch and in the dressing room.

"He has always kept himself in good shape. He is obviously enthusiastic about coming back. The management team are saying 'let's have a look at him, see how it goes and then make a call'.

"He will make it busy for forwards in training matches if he gets up to level of fitness required."

While Liston has little doubt that Galvin will offer Fitzmaurice and Kerry something in defence, he is acutely aware that he has been tried in that position before.

"He brings experience. They tried him as defender before he retired and things weren't going well for him at the time and he packed it in.

"But he is obviously mentally fresh and has thought a lot about it. I have great faith in the management team and in Galvin that he can get back up to the required level. He has been a great competitor and there is a challenge there for him now. He will be told very quickly by Eamonn if it is or isn't working out."

Irish Independent