Wednesday 21 March 2018

O'Sullivan feels bench can tip the balance for Kingdom

Four-time All-Ireland winner Sean O'Sullivan
Four-time All-Ireland winner Sean O'Sullivan

Michael Verney

Former Kerry attacker Sean O'Sullivan believes the fate of Sam Maguire will be decided by the performances of opposition benches and he feels the Kingdom hold the advantage in that department.

The four-time All-Ireland winner says while both Jim Gavin and Eamonn Fitzmaurice are blessed with game changers, the Kerry boss has more ammunition this Sunday.

"The clinical Kevin McManamon can be called upon if goals are needed and we know all about him down here. But for me, Kerry's bench is better," he said.

"Depending on team selection Eamonn will be able to call on the services of Bryan Sheehan, Darran O'Sullivan, Barry John Keane and Tommy Walsh. What great options for midfield and attack if needed. Fionn Fitzgerald and Aidan O'Mahony can both come in at the back too. I think that Kerry have a real advantage on the bench."

O'Sullivan expects Fitzmaurice to have every base covered and feels his meticulous approach will help Kerry claim back-to-back titles.

"Eamonn knows how to prepare and set up his team to go and win and I think Kerry will have the better plan and overall the better players to see it through."

Elsewhere, Tyrone U-21 manager Feargal Logan is immediately planning to scout prospective talent for 2016 following his re-appointment as Red Hand boss.

Along with Peter Canavan and Brian Dooher, Logan led Tyrone to All-Ireland success this year and with a dozen of the panel still eligible, a bold repeat bid is expected.

"There's a good core of last year's team still available, but they need to be in the right mind-set, the fight form to try and repeat the dose," Logan said. "We want to keep building a platform for the senior team, build as many good young footballers in Tyrone as we can."

Ger Cunningham's Dublin hurlers were dealt an early setback as Peter Kelly suffered a dislocated knee for Lucan Sarsfields last weekend, with the defender facing a long spell on the sidelines.

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