Tuesday 19 February 2019

Tomás Ó Sé has a pop at Kerry fans and reveals two areas that have transformed the Kingdom

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé believes the injection of youth and tireless work-rate has made the Kingdom a stronger outfit in 2018.

After the concession of two early goals, Eamonn Fitzmaurice's side cut loose in attack and were watertight in defence as they recorded their biggest Munster championship win over Cork since 1938.

The performances of Kerry's younger guns like David Clifford, Sean O'Shea and Gavin White were very impressive with all six Munster final debutants catching the eye.

Kerry's intensity out of possession was also a key factor in the game, according to Ó Sé.

"Kerry will be judged on championship and a lot of people are saying they haven't met anything yet but I do think the influx of young fellas... David Clifford has been spoken about for years now and he's been outstanding at underage level and for me the step up these players have made to senior level against a Cork team that were half-fancied, not to beat them, but to perform. Sean O'Shea was outstanding," he told The Sunday Game.

"The physique and conditioning of the Kerry players was outstanding

"This guy (Gavin White) is outstanding. I wonder has he the pace of Jack McCaffrey.

"The movement and the work-rate of the Kerry forwards was a joy to see.

"The big thing that Kerry supporters are excited about is that they're being direct."

Ó Sé identified one statistic that outlined Kerry's physical dominance of the Rebels.

"I wouldn't be a huge man for stats but I think they worked phenomenally," he added

"They won the battle at midfield. Kerry's directness hurt Cork but a stat I think is unbelievable is turnovers. You count turnovers with kickouts as well. Kerry had 49 turnovers. 36 weren't kick-outs.

"When Cork were in possession, they had one option of coming up through the middle. Kerry were tight and disciplined at the back. They didn't give Cork an inch of ground.

"It was the first time that I stood up and took notice. They are big men."

Ó Sé couldn't help having a dig at Kerry fans who had called for Fitzmaurice to step down after their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Mayo last year.

"A  lot of people in Kerry were calling for Eamonn Fitzmaurice that he should walk, that he should go after last year's performance... Páidí was right about Kerry supporters. They're very fickle down there."

Ó Sé feels that Cork missed an opportunity to galvanise their supporters.

"There's a buzz in Cork at the moment with the hurling, it was a perfect opportunity to connect with the public. There was over 30,000 inside there last night and it just fell flat on their face. This inconsistency will be thrown at them again."

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