Aidan O’Mahony: I want Kerry’s forwards to go to town on Clare

It may not be like a Kerryman to want us to make a big statement, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for from the lads this weekend.

Comments

This has been the quietest I’ve seen a Kerry camp before Championship for a number of years.

Peter Crowley is a massive loss, there’s no point in saying any different. He’s a go-to guy, he brings that bit of devilment to proceedings and he’s a leader for Kerry.

It’s not a nervous tension down here, but it’s like going into the unknown with Kerry – if that makes sense. We know we have all these young lads on the way through, but they have to use the Clare game as their opportunity to show what they’ve got.

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Kerry need to go for the jugular in Ennis

I was dropped before playing The Banner in the past and I felt it was wrong. I came on after 15 minutes and kept my place for the year after that.

Clare will give Kerry a game of it in Ennis. They’ll have the pitch narrowed and Colm Collins is a very good coach.

If Kerry are to set down a marker for the year, they need to go to Ennis and be absolutely ruthless.

The young lads need to put this talk of being three or four years away from an All-Ireland to bed.

They need to stand up now. The Championship needs a Kerry team that are very strong. I’d love to see Paul Geaney, David Clifford and James O’Donghue just go to town on Clare.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what Donie Buckley does with the Kerry defence too. He had Mayo playing right on the line over the last few years and want to see that from Kerry’s young lads.

Super starting XV

Kerry have selected a very exciting starting team in this opening game. The mixture of youth and experience that Peter Keane has gone for is particularly intriguing.

It’s great to see guys like Shane Ryan in goals and Diarmuid O’Connor in the forwards, make their Championship debuts. I’m also delighted to see Tommy Walsh back in the panel.

What a full-forward line by the way! I really hope they cut loose now.

When are Dublin going to be tested?

Dublin were awesome last week against Louth and they didn’t even use the likes of Jonny Cooper, Bernard Brogan or Dean Rock. Diarmuid Connolly wasn’t even with them. They also had Paul Mannion sent off 26 minutes in and still blew Louth away by 26 points.

I reckon not winning the National League for Dublin was a great eye-opener, but the result was kind of worrying for the rest of the country.

Realistically, when are Dublin even going to get a challenge?

The All-Ireland final? Maybe the All-Ireland semi if we are lucky!

Having Rory O’Carroll back is a huge boost too, he’s a big player for them. He operates right on the line, he has no interest in kicking ball or being on the run. He’s the one you look at to shackle the opposition’s star forward – by whatever means necessary. I’ve never seen him taken to the cleaners.

I’d love to see Dublin’s internal games because I’d say they’re killing each other. You got guys there who got an All-Star last year looking at O’Carroll and they must be saying “Jesus Christ Almighty, now this lad is back!”

You can’t have off days playing for them. Other teams just don’t have that kind of depth. It’s scary stuff really.

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