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'The calendar is a joke' - Tomás Ó Sé expects David Clifford to be rested this weekend due to hectic schedule


Tomás Ó Sé (inset) feels players like David Clifford are being asked to play too much football at this time of year

Tomás Ó Sé (inset) feels players like David Clifford are being asked to play too much football at this time of year

Tomás Ó Sé (inset) feels players like David Clifford are being asked to play too much football at this time of year

Kerry's David Clifford limped off after 18 minutes of Kerry's impressive victory over Mayo at the weekend as he featured in his third game in six days and Tomás Ó Sé expects the teen sensation to be rested this weekend.

The extent of Clifford's injury is unknown but he is due to line out for IT Tralee against DIT in a Sigerson Cup quarter-final this evening.

Much has been made of Clifford's schedule since Saturday's game and speaking to Independent.ie's GAA podcast The Throw-In in association with Allianz, Ó Sé said the demands asked of college players at this time of year highlight the folly of the fixture calendar.

"They're all in the same boat. Sean O'Shea is in the same boat, Jason Foley is in the same boat, David Clifford, Gavin Crowley are all playing college football," he said.

"You could go down the argument of 'Is he the most physically developed', 'Is he the tallest?'.

"They are playing on heavy pitches but they are being minded in between games there is no doubt about that. Are there too many games? Yes, there are too many games. They're in quick succession.

"These young guys are playing more football in January than they'll play for the rest of the year. It's ridiculous.

"The Sigerson Cup is a great competition, it shouldn't be shelved.  Play it in November. I would have no problems playing it in November.

"The calendar is just a joke. January being the busiest month of the year compounded by the weather we have, it's an absolute joke.

"I think he'll be rested at the weekend. I think the fact that Kerry have a springboard of two wins. They are missing a lot of players but I think Clifford should be rested at the weekend.

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"I don't know what kind of an injury he got. I think he will be played with the college before he's played with the county."

The manner of Kerry's win in Castlebar, especially given the fact that they outscored Mayo from play in the final 21 minutes of the game with 13-men, impressed Ó Sé and he feels Fitzmaurice has unearthed some gems in the opening two games of the league.

"Two wins in a row is an added bonus. They haven't had that in a long, long time. It gives them a little bit of comfort and they'll be able to settle into it. If they lost two games they wouldn't be panicking but they would be under pressure to stay up in Division One and they might not be playing the teams they want to play for the right reasons," he added.

"I think five or six guys have put their hand up as real championship contenders.

"Anytime you lose in Kerry it's dissected like in no other county. There was a lot of talk about these young fellas winnig so many All-Irelands and none of them being given a chance. I think that's what Eamonn has done.

"I think Shane Murphy in goal is a serious find, Jason Foley has put up his hand, Gavin Crowley has put up his hand, Jack Barry has been around for a year but he is putting up his hand more, David Clifford has certainlt put up his hand but Sean O'Shea is a guy I think could be key because what he gives you is what Kerry haven't had in the last three or four seasons is a threat from the half-forward line. A scoring threat from the half-forward line. Someone that will make the likes of Cian O'Sullivan very honest.

"He has to be watched. He comes on this loop. They get possession in the full-forward line and there he is coming like a train. He reminds me of Declan O'Sullivan in his heyday.

"He is a good footballer, he's a solid footballer. He seems to have an old head on young shoulders as well."

Kerry will seek a third win on the bounce when they travel to Clones to play Monaghan on Sunday.

Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly GAA podcast in association with Allianz, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every week, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé and John Mullane.

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