Monday 11 December 2017

O'Sullivan set to call time on career in green and gold

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

KERRY'S Tom O'Sullivan, a five-time All-Ireland winner, will not be returning to the Kingdom fold.

The Rathmore veteran has not yet confirmed his retirement, but sources close to the defender have indicated that he will not be back.

The 33-year-old has left it very late to rejoin the county panel in recent seasons and there was speculation that he would make a delayed return this year, but that is not the case.

O'Sullivan last played for Kerry at full-back in last year's All-Ireland final loss to Dublin. He lined out for Rathmore against Dr Crokes last weekend in a game in which his team-mate and Kerry U-21 wing-back Paul Murphy was given the job of marking Colm Cooper.

In his prime, O'Sullivan was the quintessential unflappable defender -- he made 76 championship appearances between 2000 and 2011.

He won an U-21 All-Ireland in 1998 and made his senior debut in the National League against Cork the following year. He played in most defensive positions and collected two All Stars as well as the five senior All-Irelands.

With Tommy Griffin retiring last winter, O'Sullivan's departure means that Tomas O Se is now the only player left from the All-Ireland-winning team of 2000.

Meanwhile, Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan could yet enjoy a triple boost in the countdown to his team's Ulster Championship quarter-final against Down.

James Sherry, Tommy McElroy and Martin McGrath are poised to bring a generous ration of experience to the table having been out of action for long periods.

The trio have returned to full training and are honing their fitness in club games in the hope of making the cut against the Mourne men. Barry Owens has also resumed training after a shorter absence due to injury.

"It's been a frustrating few months, I'm just glad to be back to full fitness," Sherry said. "The match against Down will be a huge test."

Irish Independent

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