EAMONN FITZMAURICE BELIEVES his policy to allow long-serving Kerry stars to take a ‘mental break’ from league football will serve the county better this year.
Marc Ó Sé and Declan O’Sullivan are currently not involved with the squad as they ease themselves back into action for the 2014 campaign.
A similar policy will be adopted with Colm Cooper whenever his club commitments conclude. He will line out with Dr Crokes in next month’s AIB All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Castlebar Mitchels.
“With Colm, we felt it worked well last year to give him some time off”, outlines Fitzmaurice. “We’ll wait and see how he fares this year with Dr Crokes. If they go all the way until St Patrick’s Day, then I’d envisage that he’ll play very little league football. It’s more a need for him to be fresh later in the year.
“Marc has a lot of miles on the clock and has been around the block. He would have been happy to keep training with us but I felt he needed some down time away from it. If we can shorten his season a bit, it will help.
“Declan is a slightly different case. He’s living in South Kerry and working in Killarney. It’s difficult to sustain that level of commitment for the full length of a season. It’d be counter productive.
“He’ll be working away on his own fitness and we’ll get him into it as the year goes on. It’s a mental break from football for them all.”
Kerry hope to have Kieran Donaghy back in their camp by mid February. But Darran O’Sullivan, recovering after a double hip operation over the winter, and Killian Young, who fractured his ankle before last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, will still be sidelined for a while with Fitzmaurice prepared to be patient with them.