Kerry young guns can’t all be thrown in together, warns David Moran

Kerry midfielder David Moran has insisted their experienced players still have plenty to offer and shouldn’t be dumped in the rush to blood new talent.

Manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice used 37 different players throughout the league campaign with many of them expected to make their championship debuts against Clare on June 3.

Just two players from the four Kerry teams that won All-Ireland minor titles between 2014 and 2017 have played for the seniors so far in the championship.

But that figure is expected to multiply in the coming weeks with Fitzmaurice under pressure to breathe new life into the team. Jason Foley and Micheal Burns started all of Kerry’s league games while attackers David Clifford and Sean O’Shea carved out their own niches.

The transition is always difficult, I don’t think we’re going to just put in these fellas because they’re 21, I think guys are going to have to be playing better than 27 and 28-years-olds to get in,” said Moran.

“If it’s a marginal call the management might go one way or the other. At the end of the day, we lost to Mayo in a replay last year who lost to Dublin by a point in the All-Ireland final. You can’t just discard the whole team, it isn’t like a team that lost the first round of the Munster championship by 10 points. We weren’t that far away last year and I think it would be wrong to discard everyone.

“I think people just need to be patient. It’s grand saying: ‘Bring in a minor’. But you’re talking about a guy who is 20 years of age, or five or six of them, coming in and trying to win an All-Ireland. It’s not as easy as that.

“The fact that people get 20 or 30 games under their belt, you learn so much each time you step out, it’s invaluable.

“Look, some of the (young) guys are exceptionally talented, I just think we need to be patient. It’s obviously hard to be patient at the start of the year because you’ve no context to judge X, Y or Z player, apart from a minor game that he was involved in two or three years ago, and you’re hoping he’s going to be able to bring the same level that he did at minor level to senior.

Whether it’s time to bring them all in, I don’t know, that’s a management call but I just would stress patience, it’s not as easy as just becoming a year older and you fit in and drive on.

Two-time All-Ireland winner Moran said he’s noticed ebbs and troughs in the form of the younger players throughout spring.

“Some days they come into training and they are very good, some days they come in and you are tired, they are not used to it, whatever,” said Moran. “I think that there will definitely be an element of them coming in. Whether they are all going to come in, or whether they are going to come in for bits and pieces, or different games that will suit them better, I don’t know.

“It’s going to be a balancing act more than anything. But I definitely think there are a few of them that are good enough to get a chance.”


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