Kerry captain Eoin Brosnan will be available for next Saturday’s Munster Championship semi-final against Waterford but David Moran is still some weeks from receiving a clean bill of health.
Brosnan wore the number 25 jersey for yesterday’s defeat of Tipperary but played no part in the facile win after an injury-interrupted start to the season.
“Eoin is practically there, very close to being involved,” said manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. “We could have pushed him into action today if we really needed to but we didn’t want to if we could avoid it. David has had positive news with his eye, a check-up again, last Friday. The news is good, and hopefully he’ll be back on the pitch in the next three weeks.”
The prospect of such players returning to the fold only adds to the suspicion that Kerry are in decent fettle approaching the month of June despite the perception the county is failing to reproduce the next generation of stars.
James O’Donoghue, Fionn Fitzgerald, Peter Crowley and Johnny Buckley all made credible claims yesterday while Darran O’Sullivan, Bryan Sheehan and Kieran O’Leary were among those fidgeting on the bench for the majority of the occasion.
“Donegal last year maybe bucked the trend,” said the Kerry manager, “they didn’t use a huge amount of players through their championship, but for the most part you need a very competitive panel and squad to ensure training sessions are very competitive.”
Fitzmaurice spoke of his relief in getting his first championship fixture as manager under his belt without mishap and, though the scoreline suggested a smooth ride, there were times when tempers could have proven costly. There were two occasions in the first-half when a group of players swarmed on a squabble like bees to honey but restrain was the order of the day for the most part with four yellow cards the sum of Kerry’s misdemeanours.
One of those was landed on Paul Galvin who Fitzmaurice suggested got it simply “for being Paul Galvin” but the side’s discipline held tight and so too did their patterns in breaking down Tipp’s massed defence.
It was suggested to Fitzmaurice that Kerry haven’t always proven themselves adept at decoding such puzzles and that a tally of 2-15 from play suggested considerable progress in that department.
“I don’t know. We’ve had a lot of practice at that and basically every team we played in the league — in a very competitive league — played defensively with the exception of Dublin. If you weren’t learning at this stage there would be something wrong.”
And so to Waterford.
Tomás Ó Sé admitted last week that the decision to play the game just six days after this opener was wrong and his manager was up front in admitting that he would have preferred a greater gap too.
“Six days is very close, particularly with the championship intensity but we’ve known this all along. Waterford requested it, originally, with regard to club fixtures, with football and hurling.
“I’m not sure of the ins and outs, but it’s agreed, and we’ll move on with it. It’s great to have another game to look forward to.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved