Fitzmaurice rings the changes

Posted on  by John O’Mahony for Killarney Today

kerry gaa ballTHE Kerry team to play Mayo in Sunday’s opening National Football League encounter at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney shows little resemblance to the side that lined out against the Connacht champions in the epic two-game All-Ireland semi-final clash last season.

Team boss Eamonn Fitzgerald and his selectors have had their hand dealt for them in many respects as the squad has been ravaged by injuries while a number of other players are unavailable for different reasons.

Just six of the side that started the All-Ireland final against Donegal in September are included.

Goalkeeper Brian Kelly, defenders Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Killian Young and Peter Crowley along with attackers Darran O’Sullivan, Donnchadh Walsh, Paul O’Donoghue and James O’Donoghue are all on the walking wounded list while Anthony Maher is unavailable due to work commitments.

Captain Kieran Donaghy is devoting his energy to the All-Ireland Club Championship campaign with Austin Stacks as are his team-mates Shane O’Callaghan and Fearghal MacNamara.

Although he is back in full training, Colm Cooper is not being risked until March while Fitzmaurice insists it is still too early to expect Tommy Walsh to return to the starting line-up although the Rahilly’s man, recently returned from Australia, will be on the bench on Sunday.

Declan O’Sullivan, meanwhile, has retired from inter-county football.

There are three from Killarney Legion involved in Sunday’s panel and four from Dr Crokes as well as two from Rathmore and Kilcummin and one from Firies.

The team, skippered by David Moran, is:

Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin); Pa Kilkenny (Glenbeigh-Glencar); Mark Griffin (St Michael’s Foilmore); Shane Enright (Tarbert); Jonathan Lyne (Legion); Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes); Paul Murphy (Rathmore); David Moran (Kerins O’Rahllys); Bryan Sheehan (St Marys); Michael Geaney (Dingle); Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes); Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes); Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare); Paul Geaney (Dingle); Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys).

Subs: Shane Murphy (Kilcummin); Jack Sherwood (Firies); Daithi Casey (Dr Crokes); Tommy Walsh (Kerina O’Rahilly); Podge O’Connor (Legion); Thomas Hickey (Desmonds); Philip O’Connor (Cordal); Alan Fitzgerald (Castlegregory); Jack Maguire (Listowel Emmets); Conor Keane (Legion).

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