Kerry really weren’t primed going into Croke Park last weekend, while Galway had a good game against Mayo and another tough encounter against Roscommon.
There was an awful lot of talk about how good Kerry were against Cork and I said it at the time that I didn’t believe we should be reading too much into it.
You do need competitive games and this is where the Super 8s will really benefit Kerry because they get another opportunity next week to get things right.
While they may have been beaten, the Galway game will stand to them – especially given the age profile of the team. It’s a young team and it was the first outing in Croke Park for a lot of them, so it will be a massive learning curve over the course of the Super 8s.
After they put in two fantastic performances in Munster the confidence might’ve been high with the Kerry camp.
Before the weekend’s game you’d have said that Kerry are playing fantastic football and they’re much better than last year.
Did they believe the hype? Only they can answer that one.
It’s hard to say that they’ve gone backwards because it’s a brand-new team though. The only way you’re going to learn is playing games like the Galway one and learning from defeat.
I guarantee that the next time they’re in a position of coming into a game on the back of a comprehensive win they won’t be getting carried away with things.
They know now what level is required now, they’re playing in the Super 8s and they’re meeting the top teams in Division 1. That experience though humbling, will really stand them in good stead.
Bring on Clones
Honestly, having been inside that dressing room with all these players less than 12 months ago and knowing the character of the guys inside there I believe that there’s going to be a massive, massive performance out of Kerry next week in Clones.
There’s no doubt in my mind about that.
Having the chance to come back one week later is a huge motivator. You don’t get that kind of opportunity to often. They can right a wrong almost straight away. To a certain degree there is a gun to their head, they have to win.
It’s going to be a war of attrition. Monaghan have a fantastic record above there and they’ll have their tails up after beating Kildare. They’ll know that one more win will see them through.
But if I was still in that dressing room I know that I would be so looking forward to next Sunday above in Clones. It’s going to be a hell of a game.