“Maybe I am in a minority, but I believe Kerry now have footballers capable of delivering an All-Ireland title in August 2021.”
Pat Spillane has revealed why he thinks Kerry are capable of winning this year’s All-Ireland, despite Dublin being hot favourites to make it seven-in-a-row.
Kerry were knocked out in sensational circumstances last year when a late goal gave Cork a dramatic extra-time victory over their Munster rivals, sending Kerry crashing out before the provincial final stage.
Pat Spillane on Kerry’s Sam Maguire hopes.
However, the Sunday Game pundit believes there were extenuating circumstances in that defeat and that Kerry will be better prepared next time around.
“Maybe I am in a minority, but I believe Kerry now have footballers capable of delivering an All-Ireland title in August 2021,” Spillane wrote in the Irish Independent.
“Last year I thought that too, but they got ambushed by Cork. An ambush Kerry walked into wilfully
“In my naivety, I thought the two teams which featured in the league games against Monaghan and Donegal after the lockdown and the side selected to face Cork was part of a cunning plan to fool everybody.
“I genuinely thought Peter Keane would unleash his best 15 against Cork. How wrong I was.”
Spillane on Kerry forward line.
The 65-year-old was not happy with the forward line that started against Cork and argued that two or three of those forwards would not be in the top 20 forwards in the county.
He feels like this current Kerry team are paralysed by fear of losing to Dublin, the same way they were in the early 2000s when taking on their arch-rivals Tyrone.
“Kerry set up that day against Cork road-testing a plan to combat Dublin. They forgot that, in the 2020 Championship of no qualifiers, they had to beat Cork first,” Spillane continued.
“The management were both naive and wrong to think that the way to beat Dublin was to have a hard-working defensive set-up.”
Kerry’s All-Ireland winning minor teams.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner also raised questions about Kerry’s ability to bring successful underage players and teams through.
Kerry won five consecutive minor titles from 2014 to 2018, but Spillane wants to see more of those players in the current Kerry panel.
“Some of those under-age winners from that year and 2015 and 2016 as well are now in their mid-twenties,” Spillane added.
“When are they coming through?”