'Sure who wants to get a walkover' - Kerry boss on Cork venue saga and injured stars return

Jack O’Connor is preparing his team for Saturday’s Munster semi-final.

Jack O'Connor with his Kerry players after the league final win over Mayo.
Jack O'Connor with his Kerry players after the league final win over Mayo.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated May 3rd 2022, 12:32 PM

KERRY BOSS JACK O’Connor says the county’s decision to accede to Cork’s request to play next Saturday’s Munster semi-final in Pairc Uí Rinn was to give his own players certainty around the fixture and allow them to concentrate on the game.

The Kerry manager added that the only disappointment he feels around the whole venue saga is that not every Kingdom supporter who wants to attend the game will be able to do so, due to the Páirc Uí Rinn capacity issue.

“Look it was simple enough. Obviously the county board wanted to protect the integrity of the Munster Championship and that message came through loud and clear to us. Sure who wants to get a walk over in a game?

“The second deciding factor was the fact that the Kerry players and management wanted certainty about the fixture and learning the lessons from last year.

“It must have been very difficult for the Kerry players preparing for an All-Ireland semi-final not knowing is there a game this weekend, next weekend or the following weekend. So it was just to bring a bit of certainty to the fixture and allow the players to concentrate on the game that was the reasoning behind it.”

O’Connor reported that Kerry have no fresh injury concerns and has a healthy panel to chose a starting fifteen for the trip to face Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn.

stefan-okunbor Kerry player Stefan Okunbor. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“We are not too bad heath wise. We picked up a few injuries after the league final, a few niggly injuries like muscle injuries and bit and pieces. So there was I suppose five or six players who did not train fully for two or three weeks but thankfully they are all back at this stage with the exception of one or two.

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“Greg Horan picked up a hamstring injury and Dan O’Donoghue is still not out of the woods yet with his hamstring injury and will not make the Cork game.

“The likes of David Moran, Paul Murphy and Stefan Okunbor who missed a lot of league action are back training fully with the squad. Obviously Mike Breen is still recuperating and that is a long term injury and hopefully he will see club action later on in the year.

“Outside a few niggly injuries we picked up after the league final, we are not too bad for Saturday’s game against Cork as we have over thirty players fit at the moment”

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