Billy Lee grateful 'respectful' Kerry didn't 'tattoo' Limerick with more goals

After an easy win, Kingdom boss Jack O'Connor is concerned about the layoff before next outing
Billy Lee grateful 'respectful' Kerry didn't 'tattoo' Limerick with more goals

28 May 2022; Kerry manager Jack O'Connor and Limerick manager Billy Lee exchange a handshake after the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Kerry and Limerick at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Jack O’Connor expects David Clifford to return to Kerry training next week after having to sit out this afternoon’s Munster SFC final.

On medical advice, the Kerry management removed the Fossa man from the matchday panel after he picked up a leg injury in the semi-final win over Cork earlier this month but the setback isn’t considered a serious one.

“He picked up an injury against Cork. We weren't being clever or anything but we thought it was going to come right but it just took a bit longer to come around than we thought,” said O’Connor. 

“The medical advice was not to play him in this game. He’s got back doing a bit away from the full training. I’d say he’d be doing a fair bit of training next week.” 

O’Connor again expressed concern with the four-week gap until the All-Ireland quarter-finals. “Look, of course four weeks is an issue and that’s why the system next year is going to be fairer for everybody.

“I’m not too concerned about the game today but I am relatively concerned about having four weeks off. I’ve gone on record as saying that we’ve played eight games in 10 weeks in the League and we’re playing three games in 12 weeks in the Championship and sure that can’t be right. That system had to be fixed.” 

A second successive landslide Munster final win for Kerry will raise further questions about the provincial competition’s value but O’Connor pointed out that’s not his concern right now.

“It’s not my issue. Sure of course people will talk like that but what can you do? We just have to play the games that are in front of us and do as good as we can so that’s for somebody else to decide that.” 

Kerry faced Roscommon in a challenge game last weekend and O’Connor didn’t rule out another to break up the gap to June 25/26.

“I'd consider it yeah but like you're running out of teams now at this stage. Thinking about it, how many teams are going to be available? So we'll have a look at it, we'll see."

Limerick manager Billy Lee wasn’t in the mood to paint the defeat as anything else but a heavy one and was taking it on the chin but still expressed pride in his group and insisted “today won’t make any difference about it”.

He wasn’t interested in commenting on the 23-point difference between the teams as a means of justifying the rejected All-Ireland senior football championship proposal that relegated the provincial championships to spring and divorced them from the All-Ireland series. 

“That’s b******s. Not interested in it today. We’ve got to look at ourselves today. To me, that would be deflecting. Let’s be honest.” 

Lee complimented Kerry for not insulting Limerick when the game was well and truly over. “What I would say about Kerry, they’re always respectful of the opposition. They could have kicked another couple of goals today and they took the points. I’ve always known that about Kerry. They don’t tattoo a team when they have them beat, they’re respectful and that's not unnoticed."

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