Tim Moynihan: 'There is a lot of expectation around the Kerry senior footballers'
Radio Kerry’s Tim Moynihan says Kerry will be wary of a first round slip up as they take on Clare in the Munster championship quarter final.
The Kingdom will be hoping to banish the memories of Pairc Ui Chaoimh where Cork shocked their near neighbours with the famous Mark Keane goal.
However, Peter Keane’s side are purring along nicely after a bombastic league campaign where the goals were flowing and Tim says, the expectations were growing.
“There is a certain level of hype in the county because you listen to Peter in the press conferences saying we’re in transition but that doesn’t wash with a lot of Kerry supporters. Look we’ve had 5 wins at minor level and there’s an expectation that these players should be coming through now. We’ve had a good run in the league and there is a feeling that this team is coming together.”
Where the attack has been a joy to watch, the defence has been somewhat more fragile than fans would like. Colm Gooch Cooper has added his voice to the growing clamour around the workrate off the ball. Tim has commentated on plenty of games involving the senior side and says the handwringing is nothing new.
“You would feel that Kerry have gotten physically stronger with the likes of Gavin Crowley and Jason Foley and that was something that was identified in the Tyrone game. It was the first time in quite a while where a defender was named man of the match. It does take time for something like that to come about but we would feel that Kerry are at a level now where they can match it physically with a Ciaran Kilkenny.”
With the hype now growing, it means the pressure has also increased. Clare comes into this fixture after a mixed end to their league campaign but won’t fear giving the favourites a game. How can Kerry avoid another upset in the southern province?
“From the mental side of things, they’ll remember the hurt from the Cork game and they will take nothing for granted. We were looking further down the road, trying to put a system in place to take on the Dubs and we got hoodwinked. You have to experience the hurt and learn from it to go back to a situation where you can’t look further than the present.”
There’s always a decent battle between these rivals and the favourite tag will be stuck to the home side at Fitzgerald Stadium but Tim isn’t expecting an easy day ahead.
“The big question going in is if Kerry do get on top of Clare would they put them to the sword and I think they would. But I also think Clare are streetwise and dogged. Colm Collins’ big thing is to stay with Kerry for the first 15 minutes. You might be up by a couple of points at half time but there’s heart in this Clare team and that can bring them back into a game. “
While the attention will naturally be drawn to the “unmarkable” David Clifford, Kerry’s forward contingent are definitely growing as a unit. Colm Collins will obviously want to put the shackles on the Fossa man but Tim is confident that others will step up on his place.
“We have scorers now, Paul Geaney and Dara Moynihan at wing forward. There’s also David’s brother Paudie who has, as we say down here, taken to the game like a duck to water. He’s put in a workman like performance and it’s something we haven’t had for a while. He’d remind me of our own great Declan O’Sullivan. If David can take two of three players out of the game, there’s two or three for Kerry that can take advantage.”
Ultimately it’s a place against Tipperary up for grabs in Killarney and Peter Keane’s men will want to put themselves into the semi final. But they won’t have it all their own way on Saturday by any measure and the Kerry fans aren’t getting carried away just yet.