Monday 20 August 2018

Sheehan warns against experience drain in Kerry

Sheehan is renowned as one of the best kickers of his generation but feels the game has moved considerably away from that fundamental. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Sheehan is renowned as one of the best kickers of his generation but feels the game has moved considerably away from that fundamental. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry look set to give Championship debuts to five players against Clare in Killarney this weekend but one of those who has left in the last year has cautioned against ditching too much experience.

Jason Foley, Ronan Shanahan, Michael Burns, Sean O'Shea and David Clifford are all in line to play for the Kingdom for the first time in the Munster SFC against the Banner on Sunday.

But five-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry, Bryan Sheehan, still puts significant value on experience.

"You need experience, you need old heads on shoulders. But, at the same time, you do need fresh legs the way the game has gone at the moment," said Sheehan.

"For me, this is the whole thing about how Kerry go about amalgamating the two together. If they get the balance right, we'll have a lot of youth, legs and pace and the experienced players to see them over the line.

"It's something Kerry need to be very careful about because they could get caught out putting in all a lot of young fellas in the one go with very little experience. It could be difficult for them."

Renowned

Sheehan is renowned as one of the best kickers of his generation but feels the game has moved away from that fundamental.

"The fundamentals of the game when I was growing up was kicking and unfortunately I just think there's little kicking in the game at the moment," he said.

Sheehan believes the Kerry public had every right to be annoyed about their All-Ireland semi-final replay performance against Mayo last year.

"Kerry was a tough place to be over the winter. A lot of questions were being asked of the players and of management so it wasn't easy," explained Sheehan.

"I know Mikey [Sheehy] was saying that the crowd didn't travel to the Mayo game but, at the same time, it's not easy to be travelling from Kerry up to Croke Park every single weekend with kids, family tickets at €50 a pop.

"The performance put out there against Mayo was not up to scratch. Not good enough. The Kerry people have every right to be mad about it."

Meanwhile, Galway have made four changes to their team to play Sligo in Sunday's Connacht semi-final from the side that beat Mayo. David Wynne, Sean Kelly, Eamonn Brannigan and Ian Burke are all recalled, with Ciaran Duggan, Sean Armstrong, Gary O'Donnell and Eoghan Kerin missing out.

Killian Daly has returned to the Westmeath squad for their qualifier campaign after departing prior to the Leinster Championship due to work commitments.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport