Thursday 17 October 2019

Tomás Ó Sé says Kerry have a 'bit of envy' after Listowel star Conor Cox's Roscommon resurgence

Cox: Former member of Kerry panel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Cox: Former member of Kerry panel. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

It seems that Roscommon's newest hero Conor Cox has always been more appreciated beyond the bounds of his native county of Kerry.

Cox starred as the Rossies beat Galway in Sunday's Connacht final in Pearse Stadium, kicking five points as they saw off the province's big two in championship action for the first time since 2001.

And Tomás ó Sé, who played with Cox briefly during a spell on the Kerry panel in 2013, revealed that UCC boss and Cork football hero Billy Morgan is a huge fan.

"Billy Morgan down in UCC always reckoned he was top quality and could not understand why he wasn't in with Kerry and that he'd won huge Sigerson Cup games for them in the past," ó Sé said at the launch of the 2019 Benetti Menswear GAA Ambassador campaign.

"The big thing with me is he'll kick a couple of wides but he'll kick more scores, he backs himself every single time. The view in Kerry at moment is, with the way he is going, a small bit of envy I would say, but at the same time he is still playing his club football in Listowel, he is a good guy, a solid lad, and I'm delighted to see him going so well."

Cox's form has been superb since he switched the green and gold of Kerry for the primrose and blue of his father's home county of Roscommon at the start of this year.

And while Roscommon dropped out of the top flight in the spring, the Listowel Emmets man caught the eye with some brilliant point-taking in that campaign.

"Cox has been a revelation for them and the confidence that man has is… he has done brilliantly for them and to finish off the game the way he did and the game against Mayo, the key scores basically," continued the Kingdom hero.

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"He has the confidence to nail a score from distance and they are coming off for him. I don't think he meant the first one but he'll say he did obviously."

ó Sé reckons that while Cox's talent was never in doubt, he fell victim to the raft of forwards coming off the Kerry underage production line which has seen the county win five minor titles on the bounce. Cox lined out for the county seven times in the league in total (twice in 2013, three time in 2014 and two more in 2016) but ó Sé reckons a decision to go travelling early in his career put him on the back foot.

"The last year in 2013 that I was there, Eamonn Fitzmaurice's first year, he (Cox) was around the outskirts of the team but it was his own choice to head off that time.

"Whereas that was never a thing in Kerry, if you want to be a Kerry footballer you break your backside trying to get in there. And there's always forwards in Kerry that would… the attitude possibly would be that there are three of four Conor Coxes there and that would be the way they'd look at it.

"And he got chances after, he came back and won three juniors with Kerry even that time when he was going very well there was talk of 'bring him in, bring him in', (but he) never got the chance (in championship) I don't think to go in.

"Very often in Kerry if you don't make an impact soon it is very hard then to do so. They have this thought on you and you don't get time to actually to make a proper imprint."

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