Kerry take on Donegal at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney on Sunday, marking the opening of their National Football League Division 1 title defence.
Eamon Fitzmaurice has named his starting XV for the fixture and it is an experimental one.
The Kerry boss looks set to use this year’s league campaign as an opportunity to blood new talent into his side ahead of the summer, with youth littered across the team named to take on Donegal on Sunday.
Most notable about the lineup is the inclusion of David Clifford at corner-forward. Clifford had two of the most incredible years at minor seen at that grade in recent times for the Kingdom in 2016 and 2017, culminating in two All-Ireland medals and one of the finest individual displays Croke Park has ever seen when he notched 4-04 in last year’s final against Derry.
The Fossa teenager was awarded with the inaugural Minor Footballer Of The Year for his remarkable performances in green and gold throughout the year.
Gaelic football followers from Kerry and further afield were keen to see if Clifford would be thrust straight into the deep end at senior level or whether he would be filtered in. Well, it appears as though Fitzmaurice has seen enough of the young star to be convinced he is worth a starting place on the county’s senior team.
Elsewhere, other recent All-Ireland minor winners named to start the league opener include Cormac Coffey, Jason Foley, Micheal Burns and Sean O’Sé.
As Kerry did not compete in the pre-season McGrath Cup competition, all the aforementioned youngsters will be seeking to grab the chance to forge a name for themselfes they are being granted with both hands durimg this league campaign.
More familiar names to be included by Fitzmaurice include Paul Murphy, Paul Geaney and Barry John Keane, with James O’Donoghue on the substitutes bench.
The team in full is below:
@Kerry_Official TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT VS @officialdonegal – Allianz Football League – Division 1, Round 1 2018 pic.twitter.com/9tldjNxHlF
— Kerry GAA (@Kerry_Official) January 26, 2018
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