Monday 19 August 2019

We are no longer fading out at the end of games, insists revitalised Enright

Kerry's Shane Enright. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Kerry's Shane Enright. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

On Saturday night, Kerry wasted no time in packing up and starting the long journey back home from Navan.

With an All-Ireland semi-final already coming into view, every hour of the next eight days was going to be precious as they go in search of a place in the All-Ireland final next month.

Tyrone await Peter Keane's side on Sunday in Croke Park and at a glance the Ulster men are at a disadvantage with just seven days to prepare.

But when you consider that they kept almost all of their front-line players wrapped up in cotton wool for their dead rubber against Dublin on Sunday, Mickey Harte's side's run-in is the preferable option.

Either way, Shane Enright insists the schedule won't be an issue for him and his Kerry team-mates who have already gone one better than last year by securing their place in the last four.

"It's a quick turnaround but fellas want to play games," said the Tarbert man.

"We have eight days now, other teams will have six so we have that extra couple of days. So we'll train this week and we're happy enough.

"Last year was disappointing after winning the game (against Kildare in the Super 8s) to be out. This year it has gone a lot better, we'd a great first game, drew with Donegal and needed to win against Meath to qualify for the semi, so we're happy with that."

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Kerry look to be coming in to form at the right time. They haven't lost since their league final defeat to Mayo, a result they avenged in some style in the opening round of the Super 8s.

On Saturday night in Páirc Tailteann, there was further evidence that they have the depth to cope with the calendar.

David Clifford didn't feature but Kerry still managed 2-13 from play and, while Meath caused problems at times, Kerry conceded 1-13 and just 0-4 in the second half to finish with comfortably the best score difference in their group.

Enright has forced his way back into Peter Keane's thinking. His 2018 season was a bust as he didn't feature in championship due to an ankle ligament injury and 2019 didn't start well for him either as he was used sparingly in the league too as the new manager tinkered with his squad.

However, as the summer came into view, Enright furthered his claim and he has now featured in all three Super 8s games so far.

"When you have all those young fellas there, you feel that pressure!" he smiled. "No, I didn't play too much in the league - I only played a couple of games.

"Then I played the first game against Clare, I didn't play the Munster final and then I played in the last three Super 8s games so I'm happy to be playing and any time you are playing with Kerry it's great.

"Obviously I was disappointed not to start today but Peter wants to give other fellas runs as well and Brian (Ó Beaglaoich) came in and did brilliantly so it's horses for courses.

"And it will be the same next week whoever we are playing; he will pick a team to suit who we are playing so that's the way it is.

"Everyone is buying in to it, we have 36 in training and the 26 change every week as well so fellas know that they mightn't be in it one week but playing the next week." 

And he revealed that he is enjoying his new role further out the field in the half-back line, having been deployed as a man-marker in the past.

Ligaments "I was unlucky last year, I tore ligaments in the ankle and didn't play championship at all last year, so I'm happy with the way things are going at the moment. Playing out in the half-back line which I probably haven't done much of before, you are playing a lot more ball and you are probably not under the same sort of pressure as you are in the full-back line.

"It's great to be playing a bit of ball and the confidence comes from that so yeah, I'm happy."

Kerry were three points up on the hour mark in Navan and powered home to win by eight. They managed something similar in the Munster final when they played with 14 men for the final 15 minutes but still managed to grind out a win against Cork.

And Enright believes they have improved their ability to see out games down the home straight.

"In other years we might have faded off towards the end of games but this year we've done a lot of hard work and that's where the physical training comes in so you can last 75 or 80 minutes because that's the way it is.

"And if you are going to live with the likes of Tyrone or the Dubs you have to play for 80 minutes."

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