Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Only a matter of time before this Kerry team beat the Dubs' - O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan: "There is too much good work going on in Kerry in the underage, and there’s too many good footballers coming in." Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

It may not happen in this Sunday's final but Darran O'Sullivan is confident that "it is only a matter of time before this Kerry team start winning" All-Ireland titles.

Dublin and the Drive for Five stand in their way but former Kerry star O'Sullivan - who retired last year before Peter Keane took charge - feels they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The four-time All-Ireland winner expects the Dubs to target a quick start and attempt to create doubts in a young Kingdom outfit, but he feels Kerry carry no baggage.

"They are going to try and go straight for goal. They are going to try and get that early start, get the crowd roaring and loud, and see can they rattle Kerry early," he said at the launch of AIB's new short film, 'The Toughest Temptation'.

"I don't think it would be impossible (to come back after conceding early goals). For an older team, it would be. My age group, or older, we were the teams they were beating. A lot of these boys haven't lost to Dublin too often.

"A lot of people are on about the five-in-a-row. If I was on the Kerry team, if I was one of the younger lads starting out, 'They'd ain't done the five in a row against me'. 'Tis just an All-Ireland to them."

Ranks While the Dubs are top of the tree at present, O'Sullivan sees the green and gold taking over in the coming years with the 33-year-old believing that they are overachieving this season given the inexperience in their ranks during Keane's first season.

"My honest opinion is that it is only a matter of time before this Kerry team start winning. There is too much good work going on in Kerry in the underage, and there's too many good footballers coming in," O'Sullivan said.

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"It is only a matter of time before Kerry beat them. Will it be this year? I don't know. Kerry have done very well to be there this year. Any realistic supporters would have probably hoped Kerry would get there next year, or the year after.

"Peter's first year in, four retirements, he let go of another four or five experienced players. That's nearly 10 players gone, who have experience of the biggest days, of winning and losing All-Irelands, and he brought in a lot of younger lads with no experience.

"Most Kerry fans knew it was a transition and the fact that they have got there already is a big thing. They are going into this game with very little pressure.

"This game isn't going to define Kerry at all. It could define the Dublin boys. The pressure is on them, they are playing against a young, up-and-coming team and should be winning an All-Ireland."

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