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O’Shea: Younger Players Want To Step Into Leadership Roles

Sean O'Shea Kerry

There have been many changes in Kerry football recently but forward, Seán O’Shea, insists that their younger players can lead the county through the transition. 

Éamonn Fitzmaurice stepped down as manager of the senior team in August after six years in charge, and was replaced by All Ireland winning minor boss, Peter Keane.

Despite failing to make the semi-final stage last year, O’Shea maintains that the management could not have prepared the team more and thanked Fitzmaurice for handing him his senior debut.

“Éamonn gave me my first start in both the league and the championsip so I owe a lot to Éamonn. All the finer details, he really looked after them. Things didn’t really look out for us last year, (that was down to) the performances from the players more than anything else.”

“The backroom team was exceptional. They looked after every last detail. They prepared for everything so professionally and it was great to be in that environment.”

Their new manager is no stranger to O’Shea, having played under him at minor level and the UCC student is excited to see that winning mentality transfer to the senior team.

“I had a year [of] minor with Peter so I know him well enough. He’s very good and looks after us very well. He has a good backroom team around him and it’s good, I’m looking forward to it.”

“He’s been in charge of the last three winning minor teams. He’s been there on All-Ireland final day and he’s got that experience.

Sean O'Shea Kerry

“I suppose we’re looking forward to the new year and getting started again. It’ll take a bit of getting used to but whenever January rolls around, we’ll get excited again about games coming up.”

The Kerry panel for 2019 has a few notable absentees following the retirements of Darran O’Sullivan, Donnchadh Walsh, Kieran Donaghy and Anthony Maher. However, O’Shea insists that the younger players are determined to fill the open gaps.

“There’s been four notable retirements. It’s a younger squad than usual but us younger lads would want to be stepping up into leadership roles now too.

“There’d be different changes but we all want the same end goal for Kerry, it’s not too much of a change.”


Electric Ireland launched the Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Championships today, announcing that Electric Ireland will live stream a selection of Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup games, bringing fans closer to the action than ever before. As part of the First Class Rivals campaign, rival county footballers but now college teammates, Sean O’Shea (Kerry and UCC) and Cian Kiely (Cork and UCC),  Michael McKernan (Tyrone and UU) and Eoghan Bán Gallagher (Donegal and UU) and hurlers, Brian Hogan (Tipperary and UCD) and Seamus Flanagan (Limerick and UCD) will each will put aside their traditional county rivalries, pulling on matching college jerseys to compete as teammates for glory in the Electric Ireland GAA Higher Education Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup.


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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter