Keane says Clifford and O’Donoghue ‘not far away’ from being fit

Kerry manager Peter Keane had mixed news regarding the county’s walking wounded as they prepare to face Mayo in a crucial Allianz NFL clash at a sold out Austin Stack Park on Saturday night.

Keane confirmed that star attacker David Clifford is “not far away” from being fit to play some part in the game, while James O’Donoghue is in the same boat, with the manager saying: “James trained last Friday night with us. He is close enough and will be training again this Wednesday night so we will be in a better position than to evaluate both players.”

However, definitely out of contention for the Mayo game and probably the Roscommon clash the following week, are David Moran and Paul Geaney.

“Paul Geaney has had a procedure done on his back and will not be available on Saturday or probably for our trip to Roscommon and the same applies to David Moran, who has tendinitis,” said Keane.

The Kerry boss confirmed that Killian Young is out long term, but he will have all the players who played with their clubs on Sunday — including Tommy Walsh, Gavin O’Brien, Jack Sherwood, Tomás Ó Sé and Adrian Spillane — available.

Keane revealed that Jack Barry, Seanie O’Shea and Dara Moynihan were only held back from club duty because of the workload they have had since mid January.

Keane says he is happy to have five games won from five, something a Kerry team has not done since 1965, but that was not the plan, according to the manager.

“We are reasonably happy to have five games won but ultimately that was not the plan. It was not the plan to win five games, or to lose five games, it was to try and put a team together and so far so good.

“Ultimately, we just wanted put a team together, because it was new to us at senior level and the players were new to us.”

Keane is looking forward to playing Mayo in Tralee, because he reckons the atmosphere against Dublin in Austin Stack Park was terrific: “I will tell you, the atmosphere with Liam O’Connor banging out the music was electric. There was a tremendous buzz out in the ground when we ran out.

“Liam was pumping out music to beat the band and you could not but feel that electricity inside in the dressing room that was coming off the stand and the terraces across the way. Sure, that was electric and it was great.”

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