Wednesday 17 July 2019

Rooting for the underdog? Bertie Ahern is tipping Kerry for victory

Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

The bookies may need to reassess... because former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is rooting for the underdogs this coming Sunday.

Dubliner Ahern said he is 'fearful' of the Kingdom and worried about this weekend's All-Ireland final clash.

"I hope I'm wrong, but I fear anyone who believes Dublin are on a handy road," Ahern told Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show.

"I would go very worried on Sunday and be very happy at the end [if Dublin win].

"I'm not very confident."

Ahern shared his knowledge of this year's teams as he reacted to Fitzmaurice's team announcement.

"I suppose around these parts all the suspicions start... all people telling me Kerry never lost three championship games to Dublin in a row," he said.

"In reality, taking a quick look at Kerry, Fitzmaurice is an excellent manager. He is a brilliant tactician, a great player too and he sets his team up for the occasion. He is ruthless in his decisions.

"He doesn't care who is in or who's out, he makes the call and he has an unbelievable panel.

"What frightens me personally, when I was looking at their match against Tyrone, is the bench that they brought in.

"They have a huge team, I think they are a better side than they were last year.

"I have to say I worry, if you look at the Dublin side, and Gavin has done a superb job, he's built on what we've achieved. We've won three titles [with him] and if you look at the last six big occasions, including this Sunday, we've been at five of them.

"Unlike last year, we have a totally settled side too.

"We have good subs too. I think Kerry... to be honest, I would be fearful of Kerry, I think they have a really strong side."

Bertie's comments come as Kerry manager Fitzmaurice revealed that captain Kieran Donaghy, long serving defender Marc O Se and current Allstar half-back Paul Murphy have all been left off the Kerry team.

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