Bryan Sheehan: Expect physicality as Cork look to rattle young Kerry stars

The Kerry legend looks ahead to the Saturday Munster final as Cork and Kerry meet and he expects it to be a ‘physical’ battle in the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh…


Everyone in Kerry was disappointed after the performance against Mayo last year and after that game we needed to freshen things up and try something new.

A lot of people in the county were calling for the young lads who had won so much underage to be given a chance.

I’d imagine after that defeat the Kerry management would have sat down and decided to go down a different route.

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If you look at the subs they brought on against Clare, it was boys with incredible experience like Kieran Donaghy, Barry John Keane and Anthony Maher. It seems to be the case that he started with the youth and finished with the wise old heads to see the game out, which is something I like.

I was very curious to see how things were going to play out and now I see it’s a great way of working, bursting out of the blocks with youth and have the experienced players see out the result.

They kicked 32 points and deserve all the credit they get, but a small bit of perspective – Clare were brutal. There will definitely be bigger tests ahead.

When you’re a young fella you want to get the foot in the door and make a big impression. The management must have been constantly in their ear beforehand though, because they’ve gone and put down a marker.

Curious Cork

There’s always a rivalry there, I never liked losing to Cork. The last couple of years they haven’t played to their potential, but you can put that down to a new phase of rebuilding.

Coming into the game against Tipp there wasn’t a word out of them, no one was talking about them.

They came out, went about their business and made a massive statement, I certainly didn’t expect it!

Cork are in a Munster final at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, and it’s the first one they’ve played there since the refurbishment. That will give them a little bit extra.

They are going to be really up for this and they’ll go out there to rattle the Kerry lads.

The Rebels won’t be afraid to rough it

I fully expect Cork to go at Kerry hammer and tongs, if they’re to be in any way competitive they’ll have to win the physical battles.

However, The Kingdom won’t sit back and take it, they’re well capable of looking after themselves.

Looking at Kerry the last day I believe they’ve enough to edge this, but I don’t for a second think that they’ll have it all their own way. Over the years, certain individuals built up a personal rivalry and with so many new players involved, we could see a few new personal rivalries blossom at the weekend. That’s what it’s about.

It was there in my day, O’Leary and Galvin is the one that everyone remembers. But, there were plenty more, and that’s because the fixture always had that extra bit of spice.

I can’t wait to see what happens between this new generation of players on Saturday.

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What do you think?