Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue out of final

Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue out of final

Éamonn Fitzmaurice has confirmed that Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue will not be part of the Kerry panel for Sunday week’s Division 1 final, writes John Fogerty.

Paul Geaney could be in the shake-up having played a league game with Dingle on Saturday but the long term injury pair won’t be considered.

Kerry's James O’Donoghue.
Kerry's James O’Donoghue.

“Anthony (hip) and James (shoulder) won’t feature in the next two weeks. They’re getting there but they won’t have enough competitive football, if any, under their belt at that stage.

“By the time they get back in with us, they’ll be fully fit and the only thing they’ll need is football sharpness. James has been a bit of a freak of nature in the past in that he can survive on very little football and get to a high level straight away.

“Anthony has never really been out for any length of time and he has always been a constant in our set-up so we’ll have to see how he gets on. They will be physically fit but in terms of getting up to levels of football sharpness we’ll just have to wait and see.”

More will be known today about the extent of Johnny Buckley’s quad injury. “We’re hoping not too serious. He had a bit of an issue coming into the game where his quad was a bit tight. He was confident enough yesterday it was fine but it tightened up early in the game so we’re hoping it won’t be anything major.”

Fitzmaurice said Kerry will be going all out to claim the league title. “It’s national silverware so it’s significant. A lot of lads don’t have a National League medal and of course if you win one with how competitive Division 1 is nowadays it is something that is hard-earned. So it would be fantastic to win it and we’ll be going all out for it.”

After seeing Darran O’Sullivan turn in another commendable performance, Fitzmaurice gave his dues to the 29-year-old. “He’s injury-free – that’s the thing with Darran this year. The last couple of years he’d been carrying injuries and from about this time last year on he’s been injury-free and it’s allowed him to get a good bit of training under his belt, get really fit and come into a line of form that he’s maintained throughout the league. It’s great for us that he’s playing so well and long may it continue into the championship as well.”

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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