VIDEO: Colm Cooper dropped as Kerry bench stars for clash with Cork

They may very well consider a red carpet for Kerry’s Munster football final dugout following Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s bold decision to leave decorated stars out of his line-up.

VIDEO: Colm Cooper dropped as Kerry bench stars for clash with Cork

Colm Cooper, for starters, has been deemed surplus to first-team requirements in what is a major surprise for the visit of Cork to Killarney.

The gifted attacker returned to the first team for the semi-final win over Tipperary after missing all of 2014 with cruciate trouble and contributed three points.

But Fitzmaurice has preferred the Dr Crokes man in reserve and also withdrawn the quartet of Mark Griffin, Anthony Maher, Paul and Michael Geaney.

It hasn’t necessarily weakened the Kingdom team as All-Ireland winning captain Fionn Fitzgerald returns at corner-back while David Moran is recalled at midfield.

Into the half-forward line also come Stephen O’Brien and the ultra experienced Donnchadh Walsh. And if Cooper’s departure from the full-forward line appears a blow it is tempered considerably by the fact he is replaced by reigning Footballer of the Year, James O’Donoghue.

Crucially, if Kerry are struggling, they can call upon a troop of All-Ireland winning talent with Cooper, Darran O’Sullivan, Aidan O’Mahony and 2009 medallist Tommy Walsh all on the bench.

Opponents Cork have not been shy about change either with Fintan Goold drafted into the midfield.

The versatile Macroom man gave a glimpse of his potential in the position with a Man of the Match display against Donegal in the league semi-finals.

He scored four points that day though after failing to repeat the heroics in the final was named as a sub in the semi-final win over Clare.

Goold did come on in that dozen point win though and has retained his spot alongside Alan O’Connor in what is an experienced midfield axis.

O’Connor emerged from a brief retirement earlier this year and this will be his first start in a provincial final since facing Clare in 2012.

Eoin Cadogan also returns to the team in the pivotal full-back position alongside experienced duo Michael Shields and James Loughrey.

The two players to lose out are Colm O’Driscoll and Conor Dorman with both players being replaced during the win over Clare.

Up front, Cork retain a potentially explosive attack with Brian Hurley and Colm O’Neill named in the corner-forward positions.

All-Ireland winning duo Paul Kerrigan and Donncha O’Connor are named in the half-forward line though O’Connor and full-forward Mark Collins could easily trade positions throughout the game.

Kerry: B Kealy; F Fitzgerald, M O Se, S Enright; J Lyne, P Crowley, K Young; D Moran, B Sheehan; S O’Brien, J Buckley, D Walsh; BJ Keane, K Donaghy, J O’Donoghue.

Cork: K O’Halloran; M Shields, E Cadogan, J Loughrey; Barry O’Driscoll, Brian O’Driscoll, S Cronin; A O’Connor, F Goold; P Kerrigan, D O’Connor, K O’Driscoll; C O’Neill, M Collins, B Hurley.

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