Aidan O’Mahony: Ciaran Whelan’s comments about Kerry’s conditioning were pure nonsense

The minors after coming through for Kerry are not going to be built like tanks in the space of a year or two


Kerry Performance

It was certainly a game of two halves from a Kerry perspective. In the first half, they played open football and troubled Clare all over the pitch. From the very beginning, Clare dropped back and played a sweeper, but Kerry were on top in the middle too. But, David Moran’s black card unsettled Kerry and they lost their platform around the middle then.

I’ve watched the incident back two or three times and it was never a black card.

The second half was a mixed bag in truth. Kerry just looked like a team who thought they had the job done at half time, they took their eye off the ball a bit and let Clare back into the game. It could be a good thing for them though because there’s plenty to work on going forward. If you had beat Clare by 22 points, like last year, you’ll learn nothing.

You’d have to feel a bit for Colm Collins too. They have been really unlucky to keep drawing Kerry in Championship over the last few years. They have some marquee forwards too in the likes for David Tubridy and the Malones, so it was never going to be easy up there either. On the positive side for Kerry, James O’Donoghue played very well, they were on top in midfield until Moran’s black and they blooded four debutants.

Kerry Discipline

There’s no issue with discipline in the Kerry team. I’ve been saying for the last year or two that Kerry need to bring a bit of devilment to their play and at least they are now showing the initiative to be tackling right on the line. That’s what you want from your players. Mark Griffin’s second yellow card was very harsh too. I don’t believe Kerry’s discipline is a problem, but it will certainly be tested the next day against Cork.

Media ‘unconvinced’ by Kerry

There’s nothing in that. The biggest thing in this is that fellas that started and who mightn’t have played well will now be looking over their shoulder. Munster finals between Kerry and Cork are big occasions in Kerry and you want to play in them – you have to have that selfish part of you. It’s all well and good winning a Munster final sitting on the bench, but you want to be on the pitch. Any player saying they are happy enough being a sub, is lying.

The Clare game will bring these lads back down to earth on Tuesday night at training because some guys will know they have to start performing with three weeks left to make an impression. It goes from playing a Championship game to bringing the Championship into your training ground. At the end of the day, no one is going to be talking about the Clare game when they are handing out All-Ireland medals in September.

Ciaran Whelan questioning Kerry’s conditioning

I know most of these players and their conditioning is very good! There’s a lot of minors after coming through and they are not going to be built like tanks in the space of a year or two. That takes time. In the modern game, you need to be mobile as well as robust.

I thought what Whelan said was a throwaway comment. I think any good strength and conditioning coach knows your peek needs to be later in the season than the opening round. I think what he said about Kerry’s conditioning was nonsense.

It’s great that Ciaran has decided to keep digging at Kerry because it will definitely get back to the players.

Cork’s Result Against Limerick

It’s a positive for Kerry that Cork might have shown their hand against Limerick. There should be no danger of Kerry getting complacent after watching that Cork performance. I’m not trying to build up Cork, but I think it was there for everyone’s eyes to see.

Cork will be at home now on the 22nd of June and it’s going to be a massive game for Kerry. That’s the test Kerry need because that performance was like the Cork of old.

They never took their foot off the pedal and when they smelt blood they went after it. Brian Hurley’s two goals at the very start were clinical and ruthless. Cork got opened up for a goal chance just after the first whistle and after that, I was saying ‘is this the same old story for Cork’. But, they weren’t and they shut up shop after it.

Ian Maguire gives them a great platform in midfield and it was probably one of Ruairi Deane’s best games for them. I liked seeing them kick ball and when they went direct they caused Limerick all sorts of trouble.

Kerry v Cork Still a Special Fixture

It really is special and the fear in Kerry is Cork have to eventually come good. When I was playing, going down to Pairc Ui Chaoimh was always a 50/50 game. I think this Cork team are sick of being beaten down this year. You saw that in their performance against Limerick. Brian Hurley and the likes are some serious footballers and the kicking game suits them. The running game they tried over the last few years is hard to play and a lot of teams are going away from it. It’s fair enough trying to be defensive, but adding running into that it’s tough for a team to sustain that for 70 minutes.

A lot of the analysts watching the two games at the weekend would say that Cork look the form team and I think that’s a great eye-opener for Kerry. This is no foregone conclusion and the Munster Championship needs a good final, so hopefully, we will be in for a humdinger in that one.

Praise for Cork by Kerry Pundits seen as a bit patronising

In fairness to Pat Spillane, he speaks his mind and there’s no kind of filter there. From the Kerry side, we want to beat Cork every year. I’d love nothing better than to see Kerry go up to Pairc Ui Chaoimh and beat them there. But, you have to be a bit realistic too. Cork aren’t going to lay down.

There must be a bit of hurt about Cork after what happened in the Munster final last year. I know if it was us in Kerry and people were harping on about us the whole time, there’d be a backlash. If Cork can bring the type of play they brought to the Limerick game into Pairc Ui Chaoimh, then Kerry aren’t going to get anything easy.

This year’s Football Championship v the Hurling Championship

100 per cent the football has been better. The Ulster Football Championship is the new Munster Hurling Championship! The games have been unreal up north, but then we are not seeing any of them and that’s such a pity.

We need to see more football games on television.

They seem to be only showing teams who are in with a chance of winning the All-Ireland and we are not seeing games like Cavan/Armagh live, we only got deferred coverage and about two minutes on The Sunday Game.

The two hurling games they showed on Sunday were completely one-sided, there’s only so many more weekends that they can keep going on about the hurling being miles ahead. It’s clearly not, the Galway v Wexford game was poor as well. If you are trying to advertise and promote football then you need to show the matches.

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What do you think?