It’s just a week out – a whole week! – from our All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry. A little less, in fact, because this time next week, barring the need for a replay (I know! I know!), either ourselves or Kerry will have made it to the final.
Both camps have already held their pre-match press nights. While much of the content generated at these events will be released by the media in bite-size chunks over the coming days as the game itself draws ever closer, some of what Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Stephen Rochford had to say has already been reported on, in both instances by the Irish Examiner.
First up, Tony Leen had a piece on Friday with Eamonn Fitzmaurice which is here. The Kerry manager – as you’d expect – makes it his business to talk us up, saying that we’re finding our form at just the right time.
He also confirms that Kerry have no major injury concerns ahead of Sunday. Kevin McCarthy – who started in the League final back in April and lined out at centre-forward in the Munster final against Cork – is available, having missed the quarter-final win over Galway through injury.
Bryan Sheehan also missed that game for the same reason but he’s now fully recovered and is available for selection against us. So too is James O’Donoghue, who started against Galway but was withdrawn having failed to score. It later emerged that he’d picked up a knock prior to that match.
John Fogarty has a piece with Stephen Rochford in the same paper yesterday. That one is here.
Like his Kerry counterpart, Stephen was happy to confirm that we’ll have our full squad available for selection for Sunday’s semi-final. The player of main concern to us, of course, is Lee Keegan, whose foot problem saw him miss the replay win over Roscommon.
Stephen was able to confirm that Lee will train fully this week and will be available to play against Kerry. So too will Chris Barrett, who had “a bit of a foot injury” coming into last Monday’s replay but was still able to line out then. Jason Doherty, who came down heavily on his knee against Roscommon and was taken off soon after, trained as normal last Thursday.
In summary, then, it appears that both counties will be picking from full panels for Sunday’s semi-final. We’ll most likely name our starting fifteen on Friday evening but I’m not sure when Kerry will reciprocate. I guess we’ll find out as the week progresses.