Monday 16 July 2018

'They are coming for the Dubs' - Joe Brolly feels 'voracious' Kerry will need nerve to challenge the champs

Joe Brolly (inset) believes Paul Geaney (right) is on a level with Paul Mannion
Joe Brolly (inset) believes Paul Geaney (right) is on a level with Paul Mannion Newsdesk Newsdesk

Joe Brolly feels Kerry and Dublin are on a collision course and the injection of youth in 2018 could see the Kingdom causing Jim Gavin's side a lot of problems when (or if) they eventually meet.

Both teams will be heavily favoured to top their respective 'Super 8' groups and if they do so, they will avoid each other until the All-Ireland final on September 2.

Speaking on The Throw-In,'s GAA podcast, the 1993 All-Ireland winner admitted that he has been very impressed with the nature of Kerry's crushing wins over Clare and Cork en route to another Munster crown.

"Kerry are playing a voracious front six, fantastic kick-passing, they've gone man-to-man and have abandoned this tinkering with a sweeper and they've gone for young, pacy, adventurous forwards, they have two superb wing backs now with Gavin White joining Paul Murphy and from what I can see White's every bit as quick as Jack McCaffrey and the absolute hunger of their attack force for scores, their team play.... Kerry are now the team that can beat Dublin. It is very clear that that is going to be the clear battle this year," he said.

"I don't think Niall Scully or Paddy Andrews would make it on to that Kerry front six and I think Dublin give you every opportunity to play.

"You can play against Dublin. If you're man-to-man and you're good enough... go and beat them. We've seen that being illustrated amply by Mayo.

"I think there is something very special about the chemistry of that Kerry forward line.

I appreciate that they haven't had a test yet.

Asked whether Kerry's forward division is stronger that the All-Ireland champions', he added: "Dean Rock is the best free-taker in the country and that is a huge factor. It would be hard to say that any of the Kerry forwards are better than Paul Mannion but Paul Geaney is on a level with him.

"Con O'Callaghan is young. I know that he's achieved a lot. He has some spectacular scores in Croke Park but look at Clifford, look at his minor career, look at his progress to date this year. It's been a slight surprise to me that he's as quick as he is. He's very powerful and he's two-footed.

"When you're saying James O'Donoghue is the weakest of that front six, it's a fair statement to make! Sean O'Shea is superb.

"It's the ease with which they play gaelic football. The forwards need only point and run and the ball is there and they are going to be a nightmare for anybody.

"I think certainly they are coming for the Dubs."

Winning five of the last seven All-Irelands has given Jim Gavin's men an intimidating air of confidence and Kerry will need to show a lot of mental fortitue to usurp them, according to Brolly.

"The thing is that against the Dubs you've got to hold your nerve because there is no way they lose theirs and they play with absolute assurance and calmness.

"The Dubs are going for four in a row and the pressure is on the Dubs not Kerry.

"It's going to be really fascinating."

Subscribe to The Throw-In,'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.

Subscribe and listen to The Throw-In podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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