Sunday 22 September 2019

Tommy Walsh threat gives Kingdom a real chance, insists legendary Jack O'Shea

Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly is tackled by Kerry's Tommy Walsh. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly is tackled by Kerry's Tommy Walsh. Photo: Sportsfile

Daire Walsh

Kerry legend Jack O'Shea believes Dublin's inability to counteract the threat of a rejuvenated Tommy Walsh could help the Kingdom to get over the line in Saturday's All-Ireland SFC final replay.

Having dropped off the panel following the completion of the 2016 National League, Walsh returned to the inter-county scene this year. His appearance as a second-half substitute the drawn encounter injected fresh life into the Kerry challenge and O'Shea feels the Kerins O'Rahillys man has done enough to earn a starting berth.

"I'd definitely start Tommy Walsh if I was involved. The reason I'd start him is because I think Dublin don't have a player to mark him. I'd definitely start him from the beginning. That'd be my theory on it. Whether they do or they don't, I don't know," O'Shea said.

"People are saying, 'Tommy Walsh, you bring him on for 20 minutes'. But why can't you start him? He might last for the 70 minutes. He could last for 60 minutes. The way he's been playing the last few games, the ball is going into him and he's winning them or getting to them. He will create panic. He'll also create a headache for Dublin, who they're going to put onto him."

O'Shea was in Croke Park with former on-pitch rivals Barney Rock (Dublin) and David Beggy (Meath) to launch the inaugural Iron Games - which is being held later this month to raise funds for the Irish Haemochromatosis Association (IHA).

After being quite positive about Kerry's chances in the build-up to their original clash, O'Shea maintained they are still capable of stopping Dublin's 'drive for five'.

"I think they missed a chance of winning the game [the last day], they were lucky in the end because Dublin had two or three chances," O'Shea added.

"I was very happy leaving Croke Park, because I have felt all this year that Kerry have been getting better with every game."

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