By Peter McNamara
Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice has ruthlessly left Marc Ó Sé, Paul Murphy and team captain Kieran Donaghy out of his starting selection for Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC final against Dublin in Croke Park.
Fitzmaurice has never been one for sentiment with his team selections and, on this occasion, it is Ó Sé, Murphy and Donaghy that are left frustrated.
Granted, it's said Ó Sé has a hamstring issue while Murphy is carrying a hip problem.
Therefore, Fitzmaurice’s hand has been forced somewhat.
Still, the Finuge clubman is not one for taking chances or shirking the responsibility of making such definitive shouts.
However, in come Aidan O’Mahony at full-back, Fionn Fizgerald at corner-back and Paul Geaney at full-forward respectively.
Kerry captain Kieran Donaghy will start on the bench at Croke Park.
Ó Sé was black-carded in the 15th minute of Kerry’s 0-18 to 1-11 semi-final victory over Tyrone and was replaced by Fitzgerald, who starts ahead of Murphy.
Additionally, Donaghy, despite tagging on a key point moments before half-time in the Kingdom’s previous Championship outing, was withdrawn at the interval by Fitzmaurice.
And it was Geaney, who replaced the Austin Stacks’ player against Mickey Harte’s men that keeps Donaghy out of the team to meet Dublin.
Geaney was influential in Kerry’s 1-11 to 1-6 Munster final replay success over Cork scoring 1-3 (0-1 free) including a game-defining second-half major.
Paul Geaney has been drafted into Kerry's starting line-up for Sunday's All-Ireland SFC final.
The Dingle operator added 0-2 in their quarter-final mauling of Kildare but was reduced to a substitute’s role in the last four.
Nevertheless, Geaney impressed hugely when introduced in their encounter with Tyrone and registered 0-3 (0-2 frees).
He will present Jim Gavin’s Metropolitans with a different conundrum to that of Donaghy, of course.
However, he is a big-game player illustrated by his performance in the All-Ireland final of 2014 and subsequent contributions for the Green and Gold this term.
It will be highly-unusual to not see an Ó Sé starting for Kerry in a September showdown but O’Mahony’s experience arguably offsets the omission of Marc.
Marc Ó Sé misses out for the Kingdom but Aidan O'Mahony is included.
Fitzmaurice will need a rock-solid rearguard display from their defensive unit and O’Mahony’s strong positional sense could be a vital asset to the defending champions’ output at headquarters.
Murphy, too, will be grossly disappointed to miss out.
The next question, obviously, is, what rabbits, if any, will Gavin pull out of his hat?
Speculation still surrounds the availability to Dublin of sweeping presence Cian O’Sullivan while it is also unclear what role Philly McMahon will play in the side given his effective roaming capabilities.
Those answers should become available in the next 24 hours.
Ruthless Éamonn Fitzmaurice has made the hard calls once more for Kerry.
1. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin
2. Fionn Fitzgerald Dr Crokes
3. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore
4. Shane Enright Tarbert
5. Jonathan Lyne Killarney Legion
6. Peter Crowley Laune Rangers
7. Killian Young Renard
8. Anthony Maher Duagh
9. David Moran (C) Kerins O’Rahillys
10. Stephen O’Brien Kenmare
11. Johnny Buckley Dr Crokes
12. Donnchadh Walsh Cromane
13. Colm Cooper Dr Crokes
14. Paul Geaney Dingle
15. James O’Donoghue Killarney Legion
16. Brian Kelly Killarney Legion
17. Kieran Donaghy Austin Stacks
18. Marc Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht
19. Paul Murphy Rathmore
20. Bryan Sheehan St Marys
21. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahillys
22. Darran O’Sullivan Glenbeigh-Glencar
23. Paul Galvin Finuge
24. Tommy Walsh Kerins O’Rahillys
25. Pa Kilkenny Glenbeigh/Glencar
26. Alan Fitzgerald Castlegregory
Bainisteóir: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (Finuge)
Róghnóirí: Diarmuid Murphy (Dingle), Mikey Sheehy (Austin Stacks), Cian O’Neill (Moorefield, Kildare).
On Field Medical Team for Sunday:
Dr Linda O’Callaghan
Ed Harnett (Physio)
Additional Squad Members
Mark Griffin St Michaels-Foilmore
Jack Sherwood Firies
Padraig O’Connor Killarney Legion
Philip O’Connor Cordal
Michael Geaney Dingle (Injured)
Kieran O’Leary Dr Crokes (Injured)
S & C Coach & Rehab - Padraig Corcoran -
Nutritionist - Kevin Beasley
Physiotherapists - Eddie Harnett, Ger Keane and Brian O’Dwyer
Performance Analysts - Paudie McCarthy, Pat Duffy and Jason McGahan
Doctors - Dr Linda O’Callaghan and Dr John Rice
Logistics - Niall O’Callaghan, Vincent Linnane and Eddie Walsh
11 of the Starting 15 for Sunday started in the All Ireland defeat of Donegal in last year’s final – Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright, Jonathan Lyne and Colm Cooper being the odd ones out.
Aidan O’Mahony made his Championship debut back in 2004 against Clare and has made 66 championship appearances for Kerry.
Paul Geaney made his Championship debut for Kerry in 2013 against Cavan having made his League debut two years earlier. He is Kerry’s leading scorer in this year’s Championship to date .
Colm Cooper played his 81st Championship game for Kerry in the Semi Final - he joins the 3 Ó Sé’s on 80 Championship appearances or over.
The Lynes of Cleeney, within earshot of the Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, are a very well known footballing family who played their Club Football with Killarney Legion. Denny, Jackie and Fr Mickey all won All Irelands with Kerry at senior level – and Denny captained Kerry in the Polo Grounds final in ’47, a game in which Jackie also played.
Jackie went on to train Kerry to 2 All Ireland titles in ’69 and ’70. Their sister, Maura, married Tom Spillane and was of course mother of Pat, Mick and Tom of Kerry Golden Years fame - Sunday’s No. 5 Jonathan Lyne is a grandson of Denny Lyne.
Jonathan, who made his Championship debut against Clare in 2012, made his full championship debut against Tipperary in this year’s semi final, and started in all of Kerry’s seven AFL games this season.
Marc Ó Sé, who played his 85th Championship game for Kerry in the Semi Final is now in second place on that honours list, 3 behind his other sibling, Tomás, who played 88 championship games for Kerry which is a record.
Kerry Scorers to Date in Championship
Paul Geaney 2-11
Colm Cooper 2-9
Bryan Sheehan 0-14
Barry John Keane 2-8
James O'Donoghue 1-10
Stephen O'Brien 1-7
Darran O’Sullivan 2-1
Donnachadh Walsh 1-3
Kieran Donaghy 1-1
Johnny Buckley 0-4
Anthony Maher 0-3
Jonathan Lyne 0-1
Fionn Fitzgerald 0-1
Michael Geaney 0-1