Billy Lee says Limerick won't overly focus on David Clifford

Lee said he and the management team are mindful of the importance of a good start in order to stop Kerry building momentum early on at home in Fitzgerald Stadium
Billy Lee says Limerick won't overly focus on David Clifford

Limerick manager Billy Lee. ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Limerick senior football manager Billy Lee acknowledges Kerry’s David Clifford is a “special talent” - but adds that his Limerick side will suffer if they focus on the Kerry talisman alone in this weekend’s Munster SFC final.

“Kerry always seem to produce special players. Time will prove it when you compare David to the Gooch, Maurice Fitzgerald, Bomber Liston, Mikey Sheehy, all the greats they’ve had up front.

“Time will really judge David against those - he’s a special talent and it’s great for the game that he’s there, he draws a lot of attention from the supporters nationwide. That’s all great, it’s great for the sport - but it’ll cause me a headache between now and Saturday.

“So yeah, we’ll have to come up with a plan, but if we think it’s all about David Clifford we’ll be in trouble very quickly. You have Seanie O’Shea, Paudie Clifford, Stephen O’Brien, Adrian Spillane - there are no weaknesses there.

“We can’t just focus on David, we have to just focus on ourselves and be aware of the dangers all over the field.” 

Lee said he and the management team are mindful of the importance of a good start in order to stop Kerry building momentum early on at home in Fitzgerald Stadium.

“We’ve seen in the past, especially in Killarney, that when Kerry get goals back there they get momentum and the crowd gets behind them, the crowd wants to see positive, attacking football and free-flowing football...it’s like a tidal wave coming against a team, and we’ll have to be mindful of that.

“At the same time we have to back ourselves and attack the game and be positive. We’re here to enjoy it - I keep saying that to the lads, that sport is here to be enjoyed.

“If we go to Killarney with a plan that’s horrendous for the lads, that they won’t enjoy then they won’t get to the pitch of the game.

“We have to get the balance right - it can’t all be about worrying what they’re going to do, we have to focus on what we can do as well.” 

Lee isn’t concerned about any unconscious bias among referees towards well-known players: “I don’t know, I don’t get caught up with those things. In the games we’ve played I’ve never had an issue with referees in games we’ve played over the years.

“I don’t see that - if the referee knows the names of the Kerry players it’s because they’re refereeing their games all the time. We’re all human beings - you’re not going to refer to someone as Mr Clifford or Mr O’Brien, you’ll call them by their names.” 

The Newcastle West clubman said he’ll be tapping up his hurling counterpart for advice ahead of the weekend:

Limerick hurling boss John Kiely and his crew have plenty of experience of the big occasion to share.

“John and myself would have a good relationship," says Lee.

"He’d be helpful and we’d use whatever we can. In fairness we have the same nutritionist for the hurling and football, so we get the same guidance on that - we have the same video analyst as well, so there are a lot of overlaps there.”

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