Thursday 14 November 2019

O Se happy at full-back for Kerry cause

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

MARC O SE is ready to continue at full-back for Kerry as Tommy Griffin struggles with an ankle injury ahead of the Munster championship opener against Tipperary in Killarney on May 22.

O Se won the Footballer of the Year award at corner-back in 2007 and has also operated at wing-back for Kerry, but looks likely to start at the edge of the square for the early part of the championship at least.

It's not the first time Kerry have been forced to deploy a non-specialist full-back in recent times.

Griffin has deputised there recently, but had previously been better known as a midfielder. Seamus Moynihan was heroic at No 3 at stages during his career, but centre-back was widely regarded as his best position, while Mike McCarthy was believed to have been reluctant to return to full-back when coaxed out of retirement in 2009.

However, O Se is happy to be deployed there by Jack O'Connor.

"If you asked me at the start of the year, I would have said it's nice to play in the corner," O Se said at the launch of Newstalk's GAA championship coverage.

"As the year progresses, it is just about getting used to playing in whatever position you are put in. I am happy with full-back and I have no problem playing there and I like playing there now. It is a matter of getting used to it."

Between retirements, injuries and suspensions, Kerry were without six of the side that started the 2009 All-Ireland final for last year's championship defeat to Down, but the An Ghaeltacht man believes the depth of the panel has been improved this time around.

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"The big thing in Kerry was always preaching about how strong our panel was. You have to test yourself when your panel is depleted and we were tested that day against Down and we didn't come up with the goods.

"When you get into the panel first, it takes a while to get playing consistently at a high level.

"It takes maybe a year or two to get in there. Looking back at last year, when we were missing the likes of Paul (Galvin) and Tomas (O Se), I suppose things fell apart really.

"Kerry were always talking about how strong their panel was and when the real test came against Down we weren't strong enough.

"You just have to go back to the drawing board. Kerry have blooded a few new players, so I suppose you'd be happy enough.

"Things have gone well in that regard, the players that have been blooded have shown up quite well, so I suppose that's what league campaigns are about really -- trying to get a few new players into the squad -- and we've done that."

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