A LESSON FROM his underage days will guard Kerry’s Darran O’Sullivan against complacency ahead of tomorrow evening’s All-Ireland SFC round four qualifier against Clare in the Gaelic Grounds.
Back in 2007 injury struck down O’Sullivan before a Munster U21 football quarter-final against Clare, yet with current Kingdom seniors Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright and Kieran O’Leary all in action along with talents like David Moran and Tommy Walsh, Kerry were still strongly tipped to triumph.
Yet on a Saturday afternoon in Kilmihil in West Clare, Kerry were shocked as they suffered a 1-6 to 0-6 defeat to a Banner outfit that contained the likes of John Hayes and Gary Brennan who will line up in opposition again tomorrow night.
“I was injured that day, I broke my hand and was just out of the cast so couldn’t play,” O’Sullivan told The Score.ie. “You have to be prepared for every game, they proved against us that day. Look at Westmeath they nearly could and should have beaten us the week before last.”
O’Sullivan has been hampered by a hamstring injury of late which restricted him to substitute appearances in Kerry’s qualifier wins over Westmeath and Tyrone in recent weeks. While he is on the bench again for tomorrow’s game, he has now recuperated fully and has praised the treatment he received from Kerry’s medical team of late.
“Against Westmeath I came on and probably wasn’t expecting to come on when I did, so the hamstring tightened up straight away after I scored the goal. I was a bit worried of the same thing happening against Tyrone.
“It’s hard not to get wrapped up as a supporter when you’re sitting on the bench, cheering on every point and tackle. I was trying to concentrate on the game itself and make sure I was well warmed up.
“In fairness to the physios here – Ger Keane, Ruth and Paudie – they really worked their socks off with me last week. They were with me every day, doing extra work, even when they weren’t supposed to be working. They had me right for the day and felt no pain on Saturday. I feel great now.”