Darran O’Sullivan job decision ‘proves Kerry’s focus’

Friday, February 06, 2015

Darran O'Sullivan: Quit working for Ulster Bank to take up part-time positions more favourable to his preparations to return to Kerry's first team.

Darran O’Sullivan: Quit working for Ulster Bank to take up part-time positions more favourable to his preparations to return to Kerry’s first team.

Dublin’s James McCarthy believes Darran O’Sullivan’s decision to step away from his job for one more conducive to his football commitments proves how focused Kerry are on retaining their All-Ireland title.

O’Sullivan last week revealed he quit working for Ulster Bank to take up part-time positions more favourable to his preparations to return to Kerry’s first team.

“It shows how much they want to win it back this year. Darran has been struggling with injuries the last couple of years so he just wanted to give himself a better shot. I don’t think he actually stopped working – he took on another job (part-time) – so I don’t think it is as drastic as it was made out.”

Having been in Kerry’s position last year, McCarthy knows how heavy the crown weighs. Going into the All-Ireland semi-final against tomorrow evening’s opponents Donegal, Dublinhad three pieces of silverware to their name.

He believed — and still believes — Dublin were at the right pitch heading into what turned out to be an ambush.

“Even the two All-Irelands that we won, we won by a point. People think they’re easy. I’ll tell you what – there’s a lot of work goes in to try and win an All-Ireland.

“I think we were better prepared last year maybe than 2012. The party probably went on a bit too long in 2012. In 2013, we were screwed right in. We thought we were unbelievably prepared [again last year], just Donegal beat us on the day.

“Hands up, we’ve no complaints. Maybe we could have won it as well but that’s the way it goes.”

Earlier this week, Paul Flynn claimed Dublin were the best team in 2014, a comment which will have raised an eyebrow or two in Kerry.

McCarthy isn’t going that far but doesn’t believe Jim Gavin has to make wholesale tactical changes as a result of that Donegal defeat.

“It’s not the end of the world. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There’s a few things we need to tweak. We have a way of playing, we have a philosophy, and we’re not going to overly change it We’ve won five out of six competitions so we’re doing alright We had one bad day in a big game.

But McCarthy, who might return for the Kerry game on March 1 after undergoing surgery on his groin and abductor before Christmas, admits his half-back line mightn’t be as gallant going forward. “Maybe not as much. But when it’s on, we’ll still go for it. We conceded three goals in the semi-final so maybe we were a bit open.”

The Ballymun Kickhams man isn’t surprised Donegal under Rory Gallagher haven’t so far deviated from the Jim McGuinness playbook. Ahead of their visit to Croke Park, he said: “They’ve been successful the last couple of years so they weren’t going to change that – they’d be mad to.

“It should be a great game. And it’s a game we’re going to be trying to win because if you lose your first two league games, you put yourself under pressure then in terms of fighting off relegation. It wouldn’t be the end of the world either – it’s still only a league game in February.”

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