Barry O’Shea: Kerry Will Not Be Getting Carried Away

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Barry O'Shea

Kerry will have a pep in their step in training after Sunday, but there’s a lot more work to do says Barry O’Shea…

IT WAS a 27 point win, but I’d bet if you spoke to Eamonn Fitzmaurice, he’ll find plenty of things the team can still work on.

In opening 20/25 minutes in the first half there was a few aimless balls into the forward line. There were parts of the game that were by no means perfect which is great from  a management perspective.

The big positive from the game was how well the bench performed which will give those players confidence.

Kerry Kildare Darran Goal

Darran O’Sullivan scores the first of his two goals on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean


Tommy Walsh, has been chomping at the bit for a chance and he didn’t disappoint catching four kick-outs at the end of the game.

In the forwards, Darran O’Sullivan hit 2-1 and Barry John Keane, 1-3. There will be a lot of guys going back into training with confidence and a pep in their step for the semi-final.

To be honest they could have had three our four goals early on in the game; Paul Geaney, who was a bit off, was a fraction away from getting in for a couple of goals so it could have been a lot worse for Kildare.

Colm Cooper looked the sharpest since coming back from injury. He was really buzzing, his passing and movement was a joy to watch the way he brings players into the game. The guys know if they make the runs the ball will be delivered.

Kerry Kildare Colm Cooper 1

Colm Cooper looked sharp on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Stephen O’Brien was another player who made an impact, people were probably surprised he started, but he answered those critics with a score of 1-4. The Kenmare man was helped by Kildare’s tactic of living him free to allow his man, Kevin Murnaghan, screen other players.

The next time they go out in Croke Park, it’s going to be a completely different ball game from the opposition whether it be Monaghan or Tyrone. I don’t think that Kerry will be getting carried away with the victory, they’ll know the next day out will be a real battle.

From a media point a view, they are talking up a Kerry v Dublin final, but I don’t see how it’s going to be that simple.

Mayo, Donegal, Monaghan and Tyrone will have an awful lot to say about that before this year is over. Kerry went out and did their job, but I don’t think they thinking about anyone else other than who we’ll face in the semi-final and that’s what they have to be thinking.

Kerry Marc O Se

Marc Ó Sé about to tackle Eamonn Callaghan during the match on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

For Kildare, it is important to play against better teams to try and improve, but we’ve seen it in the championship; division one and two teams can hold their own against each other, but once you go below that they are not competitive against the top teams.

The likes of Kildare and Fermanagh are just too far off the mark at the moment to make any head way against the top sides.

In fairness to Fermanagh though, they were like a team that played with a devil-may-care attitude and had fire in their bellies. Fermanagh would probably never admit they knew they were not going to win the game, but deep down inside, they were probably saying to themselves, ‘look we’re in Croke Park, we don’t get here often so lets have a right blast of it’.

I know Kildare people. They are a very proud county, they love their football and are fanatical about it so the manner of defeat will be hurting them for a long time. It’s very hard to know how they move on from it and how they start to rebuild again.

The first thing they do in GAA is these days is get rid of the manager, but I think they need to go a lot deeper than that. When players are not performing to a good level at that stage in the competition there is something deeper wrong.

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