Brosnan buoyed by new Kerry set-up

New Kerry captain Eoin Brosnan expects manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and coach Cian O’Neill will conduct a lot of personal sessions with players this coming season.

The Dr Crokes man, who was nominated by the club to succeed Colm Cooper on Sunday evening, linked up with the camp earlier that day to get treatment on his troublesome calf.

Brosnan, 32, should be fit well in time for the Munster champions’ All-Ireland club SFC semi-final against Ballymun Kickhams next month. His visit gave him a taste of what life under Fitzmaurice will be like.

While Brosnan doesn’t expect the captaincy to change him, the new set-up brings reinvigoration.

“Every year you go into the first of January with renewed hope and that’s the way it is now,” he said.

“There’s new management too and Eamonn will bring new ideas. My own immediate priority is to get backing football and that’s all you can do.

“There’s no doubt Eamonn will think freshen things up. Obviously, things didn’t go as planned this last season so there have to be some changes. I was in with the set-up at the weekend and you can already see how professional it is. I think Eamonn said previously he was just going to tweak rather than do anything radical and he has brought in some very good men with him.

“There will be a lot of one-to-one coaching and that’s the best way of getting it through to players exactly what style of football Eamonn wants.

“When you’re involved with any Kerry set-up you know there is a substantial amount of quality and that hasn’t changed.

“There has already been a trial match and a lot of new fellas were involved. Some of them are sure to be brought into the panel and the level of competition will rise again.”

Brosnan, of course, will an altogether different captain to the one that led Kerry in his first full season in 2001. “I’d only broken into the panel in 2000 and I was coming into a mature team,” he recalled. “It was daunting to come into the panel let alone the team.

“I broke into the team in 2001 and it didn’t go well certainly in Croke Park against Meath.

“Colm [Cooper] has been captain the last couple of years and the club have given me the privilege of picking me as captain for 2013, which is a great honour.”

The forward-turned-defender takes the armband from Cooper after a successful return to county colours following a recall in early 2011.

“I’ve been enjoying it. When I stood back from it a few years ago, I hadn’t been enjoying my football in the forward line.

“Playing in defence, there’s a bit more freedom given and there’s more of the field in front of you and more scope to do thing. I’m enjoying my football again.”

Brosnan today heads out with his wife Mary to New York for a short break, having been forced to postpone it because of Hurricane Sandy in November.

“As soon as I got into the dressing room after the county final, I got a text that the trip was cancelled because of the hurricane. My wife is a teacher and her holidays are tight enough so we had to squeeze it in.”

Brosnan is thankful for the extended hiatus until the Ballymun game on February 16.

“Luckily enough, I was injury-free for enough of last year and touch wood that’ll continue.

“I hurt my calf against Donegal and was rushing back then for championship matches. I aggravated it in the Munster final but I knew, if we won through to the semi-final, we would have a 10-week break.

“It’s not often you get a gap of that size so I’ve been able to put together a rest and strength programme so that when the football season starts I’ll be up and running.”

Dr Crokes resume training for their eagerly-awaited All-Ireland semi-final this Thursday.

“We only finished on December 16 after three months of constant football so the management decided to give us a break until the new year.

“The focus on the game will start straight away this week. Like most fellas, we’d know lads working in Dublin who would have some knowledge of football there so we’ll be tapping into that.

“We’ll be getting to know them because it was their first time out of Dublin for a while and they made it count in the Leinster championship.”

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