Eamonn Fitzmaurice: “Tommy Walsh Will Give Us Something Different”

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Eamonn Fitzmaurice, prepares for his third year in charge with Kerry. Photo by Dermot Crean.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice, prepares for his third year in charge with Kerry. Photo by Dermot Crean.

THERE are a few welcome headaches for Kerry manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice as he prepares for the 2015 season.

The Finuge man now has a wealth of depth in the squad to play with and one of the big questions from supporters on the eve of the National League opener against Mayo on Sunday is, after a five year absence from the game where will Fitzmaurice play Tommy Walsh this year?

“That’s a problem I like having. I like having to think up plans and strategies of how we can maximise players,” said Eamonn Fitzmaurice at the press conference last Friday in Austin Stack Park.

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“Tommy will give us something different, he could play in any number of positions. Like his father you could try and make a full-back out of him, to go up against a particular type of full-forward if Micheal Cussen was playing for Cork. You could play him centre-back and anywhere from eight up,” said Fitzmaurice.

“Where Tommy plays might could come down to a position where we have injuries, or if the form or balance isn’t right somewhere. Do we go back to a twin-towers that was used in 2008? It’s exciting to think about that,”  he said.

“At the start we have to be patient with him, we have to give him time, he’s not going to be a complete player straight away,” Fitzmaurice said.

This weekend, Fitzmaurice will have the headache he won’t like. Seven players have been ruled out against a Mayo side who will be gunning for the Kingdom after last year.

This does not help stop the trend of Kerry being very slow starters in the league under Fitzmaurice.

“We have been down this road the last two years. It’s a pain in the backside, especially as All-Ireland champions you are going out playing Mayo in your first game in Killarney. Because of the All-Ireland semi-final games, they are going to be very anxious to set the score straight,” he said.

“From that point of view it’s frustrating but the other side is. It’s an opportunity for other players and particularly some of the lads that would have progressed a good bit last summer. One thing that always gets players going is if he sees someone else wearing what he regards as his jersey. That can get the juices flowing again,” he said.

“If the lads who get that jersey early on perform and try and hold on to that jersey, that’s the scenario you want.”

• Kerry play Mayo on Sunday in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. Throw-in 2pm

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