But a young lad from Ballylongford will be in the thick of the action. Last night, it was announced that Paddy Kelly will partner Dara Ó Sé at midfield on a Kerry team that shows two changes in personnel from the side that defeated Limerick in the replay of the Munster final.
The inclusion of debutant Kelly releases Eoin Brosnan to take over the right-half forward position from the demoted Liam Hassett. Fully recovered from the collar bone injury which kept him out of the provincial decider, Declan O’Sullivan is named at centre-forward, with team captain Dara Ó Cinnéide moving to full-forward to the exclusion of Johnny Crowley.
The big talking point, however, will be the promotion of Kelly, a member of the Kingdom’s U21 side for the past two years. He played alongside Tommy Griffen in the Kerry junior team that lost to Meath in the All-Ireland semi-final last season. The move of Eoin Brosnan to wing-forward was not unexpected given that Liam Hassett did not go well in the Munster replay and was replaced by William Kirby. Both Hassett and Kirby are named as substitutes, as is Johnny Crowley, who was also taken off in the Munster final replay.
The third member of the team to be replaced in the replay against Limerick, Paul Galvin is, however, given another opportunity to display his wares. He is again given a starting place at left-half forward, with his deputy in Killarney, Seán O’Sullivan sitting out the start once again.
With Declan O’Sullivan fit to play, it was always odds-on that he would regain his place on the forty with Dara Ó Cinnéide moving to full-forward.
It is tough luck on Séamus Moynihan, however, to have failed in his attempt to overcome the ankle injury that has ruled him out of action for the past six weeks. Even if Kerry win on Saturday, their most outstanding player of recent years might not even make the All-Ireland semi-final.
Meanwhile, Wexford have delayed announcing their team to play Cork in Sunday’s Guinness All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park until tonight.
Manager John Conran is awaiting final fitness reports on half-forwards Paul Carley, Eoin Quigley and Barry Lambert before revealing his hand. Quigley and Lambert are expected to make the starting 15 but a doubt still exists about the availability of right-half forward Carley, having physiotherapy on his ankle, having damaged ligaments in a recent club football match. Paul Codd is the likely replacement if Carley is ruled out.
D. Murphy; T. O’Sullivan, M. McCarthy, A. O’Mahony; T.Ó Sé, E. Fitzmaurice, M. ÓSé; D. Ó Sé, P. Kelly; E. Brosnan, D. O’Sullivan, P. Galvin; C. Cooper, D. Ó Cinnéide (Capt.), M. F. Russell
K. Cremin, L. Hassett, W. Kirby, J. Crowley, J. Sheehan, S. O’Sullivan, B. Guiney, D. Quill, M. Quirke, R. O’Connor, N. Kennelly, J. Cronin, B. Sheehan, R. Flaherty, K. Donaghy.