Young players will learn

Kerry captain Donnchadh Walsh says the county’s younger players will improve their strength and power the longer they are in the senior inter-county set-up.

Acknowledging that Kerry were beaten for breaking ball in the middle of the field by Derry last Sunday, Walsh said the Kingdom’s young players will benefit from the “intense training” at the top level.

“The physicality will come from years of conditioning.

“Most of our young players are only a few years into getting used to weights and the intense training of intercounty football and that will come in time.

“Right now they are getting lots of experience, lots of game time, and lots of the younger lads that ye mentioned [Paul Murphy and Conor Cox] played very well on Sunday so it’s a learning curve for them as well.

“We all just need to gel together better over the next few weeks and against Mayo especially.”

Walsh said Kerry didn’t take their chances against Derry.

“I think we had them on the ropes for the first ten or 15 minutes.

“We did not capitalise on it, I think we only managed a three-point lead, and they brought it back level and then they even went ahead of us I think in the first half.

“When we failed to capitalise on our superiority they gained in confidence and, in the second-half, Derry kicked some unreal points.

“We were trying to hold onto them, the whole time, but every time we got and way close, they kicked some great scores.

“I thought we defended reasonably well but I thought some of their long range scores proved to be decisive.”

Walsh acknowledged that Derry had won most of the breaking ball in the game.

“Every game comes down to the team that can win the lion’s share of possession around the middle of the field. Derry won that area of the field hands down.

“We will seriously have to take a look at that, winning breaking ball, clean kick outs, because it all comes down to winning primary possession.”


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