Aidan O’Mahony: Tommy Walsh can lead Kerry to All-Ireland glory

I’d start him in the replay.


Kerry have some big things to consider ahead of the replay. When both Tommy Walsh and Killian Spillane came on in the first game they made telling impacts.

Walsh was everywhere, he set up the goal, kicked a score and was unlucky not to get another point.

He brought a totally different dimension to Kerry, he allowed them to go route one if and when they needed to.

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Kerry actually should have used him as an outlet more, towards the end of the game.

When Kerry got turned over by Dublin for one or two balls near the finish, maybe a direct ball into Walsh would have been the better option than trying to keep it.

He’s so good at winning primary possession, that’s a huge part of his game and then you have Killian Spillane to factor in.

He kicked 1-01 after he came on and he’s having a massive year.

Training ground battles

It will be interesting to see how training has gone over the last two weeks because players will be saying to themselves ‘I want to play in an All-Ireland final here’.

They’ll have seen lads come on as subs and play well in their positions, so it would have been ferocious in training as they battle for starting spots. Don’t sleep on the likes of Jack Sherwood or Jonathan Lyne here either.

Kerry need to go with something different on Saturday and see how Dublin deal with it.

The management will know their plans better than me though and maybe you need to finish with your strongest XV.

Dublin do it constantly and they were able to bring on the likes of Diarmuid Connolly, Cormac Costello and Kevin McManamon. It had me saying to myself ‘I’m glad I’m up in the stand instead of out on the pitch running after them at that stage of the game’.

But, Kerry’s subs made a more telling impact than Dublin’s and that needs to happen again on Saturday if Kerry are to win the replay.

Tommy Walsh should start, he’s just the X factor Kerry need to dig out a win.

He’s a constant threat because of his size and if Kerry go with three inside forward’s you’d have to have him in the starting side.

Kerry didn’t leave it behind

During the week before the first game, Kerry were 5/1 outsiders to win it and yet, they came home disappointed not to win it. With Jonny Cooper sent off, I thought they had a great shot to bring home Sam Maguire.

I actually believe Kerry should be happy that they came away with the draw because if Dean Rock had kicked the free at the end, then there would have been no replay to worry about.

I’ve got no time for people who say, ‘Kerry left that one behind them.’

Kerry should have a bit of belief in themselves now, even more than before the first final. They should know for sure now, that they are capable of beating Dublin.

Kerry’s youngsters will have learned that they can perform on an All-Ireland final day and gain confidence from that. They have to see this as a second chance to finish the job and not that they lost their opportunity the last day.

It’s not going to be easy, Dublin showed that they are not going down without a fight.

But, Kerry had four goal chances and missed a penalty, so they’ll look at that and feel like they can improve on those misses.

The fear should be gone now.

Kerry can absolutely win this replay. They’ve got the youth and there’s no pressure on them to win now.

Dublin will be favourites again, but Kerry have proved that they can live with them. There’s no reason at all that Kerry can’t win this!

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What do you think?