There’s a feeling around town that if Dublin are to be stopped in their quest for five All-Ireland’s back-to-back then the side to do it will be the aristocrats of Gaelic football, Kerry.
It’s not something that is completely out of left-field. Afterall, they are Gaelic football’s equivalent to the All Blacks or Brazil and they have won the last five minor All-Ireland’s in a row.
Something has got to give when it comes to this Dublin juggernaut, however, Kingdom legend, Tomás Ó Sé doesn’t believe Kerry will be the ones to topple Dublin. In fact, he doesn’t believe anyone will be able to match-up to the Dubs in 2019.
“Look, a lot of people are banding about that Kerry are the team to stop Dublin and if anybody will do it it’ll be Kerry, personally I don’t necessarily agree with that.” Ó Sé told Pundit Arena.
“At the end of the day there’s nothing jumping out to me that says it won’t be Dublin again, they are odds on favourites to lift the five in a row in my eyes.
“They are on another level and they have an age profile that doesn’t seem to be affecting them on the pitch, some of them are getting better as they go along, they are replacing leaders, like normally in a team you can pick out four or five leaders, these guys have any way up to eight or nine, absolute solid leaders and it’s very hard to compete with that.”
Kerry welcome Dublin to Tralee this weekend in Round Three of the Allianz Football League in a game that is sure to a baptism of fire for Peter Keane following two relatively comfortable wins so far against Tyrone and Cavan.
The Cahirciveen man has come into the senior manager’s job this year as a relatively unknown quantity despite winning three All-Ireland minor crowns in a row. He endeared himself to Kerry supporters last weekend when climbing aboard the supporters bus following their win to thank them for their support.
Ó Sé believes overall the Keane was indeed the correct man to lead Kerry at this time and whilst he feels that the buck still stops with the manager, the modern game dictates that a strong backroom team is equally as important.
“It probably was (the right decision). I think it’s more than the actual manager himself now. Management has a lot to do with the backroom team you put together as well now, who brings what to the table”, he said.
“Peter Keane has gone there he’s got Maurice Fitz, Tommy Griffin, Donie Buckley. There is more to modern day management, of course the buck stops with the manager and he tends to carry most of the blame, but from my point of view I’d also be looking at, well, who he has and what they contribute.
“Overall, the package Peter Keane has, he has a strong unit with him and they all offer something and Peter knows it, but there’s a lot of talent coming through at the moment in Kerry and Peter knows that they know him too.”
Maurice Fitzgerald was perceived to have been in direct competition with Keane for the manager’s position. However, the pair are club mates and have been friends for years. Whilst Ó Sé believes Fitzgerald’s appointment doesn’t guarantee success, as proved when he came on board last year, he has no doubt that Keane’s decision to keep him around is good for Kerry.
“I mean the management doesn’t win you an All-Ireland. Maurice won’t be leaving it all out on the field at all costs.” Ó Sé said.
“Now, Maurice is obviously an icon of the GAA, he’s a legend and an icon in Kerry so, his words of wisdom will no doubt be invaluable.
“Maurice will be giving something other than his name and what he’s done in the past and that’s what I was on about there. Maurice will have to bring something to the table as well which I’ve no doubt he will, but having said that to have a player like Maurice Fitz is great.
“I mean Maurice Fitz is a different tier than what’s there now, like the modern player is a different player than when he played so obviously everybody will hang on to what he says, Maurice Fitz still has a place in the modern game no doubt about it. So, of course, will bring something, he’s a great bonus to have inside there.”