While O’Brien was sent off in the Munster final replay win over Cork, this was for two yellow cards so he avoided suspension. Colm Cooper continues to be held in reserve by manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, having been introduced from the bench in both Cork games.
When asked earlier this week about the relatively high level of changes from game to game, Fitzmaurice admitted there is no exact science involved and hinted at a more settled set-up.
“It’s a balancing act – you’ve to fit in the fellas who are playing well into a system of play. You’ve to take the opposition into account and balance a team in the equation. At the same time then you’ve to try to get towards a settled team. I think we’re getting more and more towards where we need to be in that regard. But that’s the luxury in having such a strong squad. I think sometimes if you have a settled team it’s because you can’t change it so we’re lucky from that point of view in that we’ve a strong squad, a lot of options there, we can go at it a good few different ways in terms of the way we want to play. And it is a matter of looking at the opposition, looking at who is going well in training, factoring in the last two games in particular against Cork, and you know you’re coming towards your team then. But I think we’re a good bit further down the road than we were this time a month ago before the first Munster final, a good bit more settled than we were.”
Tyrone will be without experienced defender Cathal McCarron for tomorrow’s All-Ireland SFC Qualifier Round 4B clash with Sligo at Croke Park. The Dromore man’s place at corner back will be taken by Rory Brennan, one of three members of the All-Ireland winning U21 team in the starting side. Conor Meyler, who made his senior debut in the win over Tipperary, retains his place in the half forward line alongside All-Ireland U21 team-mate Mark Bradley. Peter Harte has been named at wing back, but is likely to operate as an offensive midfielder, a role in which he has been extremely effective in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, there are three changes on the Kerry minor side for Monday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Sligo in Tullamore (2pm).
John Mark Foley replaces the injured Mark O’Connor at midfield, Brandon Barrett comes into the half-forward line for Cormac Linnane, who is also injured, and Bryan Sweeney takes over from Michael Foley at full-forward.
Adrian Varley replaces Pádraig Ó Griofa in the only change to the Galway side to face Donegal.
KERRY (SF v Kildare): B Kealy (Kilcummin); D Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), A O’Mahony (Rathmore), S Enright (Tarbert); J Lyne (Legion), K Young (Renard), P Murphy (Rathmore); A Maher (Duagh), D Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys); S O’Brien (Kenmare), B Sheehan (St Mary’s), D Walsh (Cromane); P Geaney (Dingle), K Donaghy (Austin Stacks), J O’Donoghue (Legion). Subs: B Kelly (Legion), C Cooper (Dr Crokes), J Buckley (Dr Crokes), BJ Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys), M Geaney (Dingle), P Crowley (Laune Rangers), F Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes), P Galvin (Finuge), D O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh-Glencar), T Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys), J Sherwood (Firies).
TYRONE (SF v Sligo): N Morgan; A McCrory, R McNamee, R Brennan; R McNabb, Joe McMahon, P Harte; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; T McCann, M Bradley, C Meyler; D McCurry, S Cavanagh, C McAliskey.
KERRY (MF v Sligo): B Courtney (Dr Crokes); D Brosnan (Gneeveguilla), J Foley (Ballydonoghue), J Morgan (Austin Stacks); G White (Dr Crokes), M Breen (Beaufort), D O’Brien (Glenflesk); A Barry (Na Gaeil), JM Foley (Kilgarvan); B Barrett (Ardfert), B Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue), S O’Shea (Kemare); S O’Sullivan (Templenoe), B Sweeney (Listowel Emmets), C Geaney (Dingle). Subs: E O’Brien (Churchill), M Foley (Spa), T O’Sullivan (Dingle), D O’Shea (Kenmare), R Buckley (Listry), G O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), E Cronin (Spa), J Goulding (Ballyduff), J Duggan (John Mitchels).
GALWAY (SF v Donegal): B O’Donoghue (Claregalway); J Duane (St James), F Hanley (Salthill/Knocknacarra), C Sweeney (Killanin); G Bradshaw (Moycullen), G O’Donnell (Tuam Stars), L Silke (Corofin); F Ó Curraoin (Micheál Breathnach), T Flynn (Athenry); G Sice (Corofin), P Conroy (St James), M Lundy (Corofin); A Varley (Cortoon Shamrocks), D Comer (Annaghdown), D Cummins (Claregalway).