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Moynihan: Kerry need Ó Sé for the full 70 minutes, not 10 or 15

Tomás Ó Sé knows that he needs to cut out the silly red cards and get back to playing football, says his former inter-county skipper Seamus Moynihan.

A dejected Tomás Ó Sé heads back down the tunnel following his sending-off against Laois last weekend.
A dejected Tomás Ó Sé heads back down the tunnel following his sending-off against Laois last weekend.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

KERRY LEGEND SEAMUS MOYNIHAN has backed Tomás Ó Sé to straighten out his wayward disciplinary record and get back to a more familiar starring role in the Kingdom’s half-back line.

Moynihan was in Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday afternoon to watch Kerry wrap up their place in the Division 1 semi-finals with a 0-20 to 1-13 win against Laois.

It was Ó Sé’s first start since serving a tw0-match ban for his dismissal against Armagh last month, but the An Ghaeltacht wing-back lasted just 10 minutes before he saw red again, this time for an alleged punch on Billy Sheehan.

Kerry will now be without their five-time All-Ireland winner for at least their next two league games, at home to Mayo on 8 April and the semi-final, although Ó Sé could still be hit with an additional punishment because this is a repeat infraction.

The danger now is that Ó Sé becomes an easy target for opponents to wind up but Moynihan, who captained Kerry when a blossoming Ó Sé won his first All-Ireland against Galway in 2000, says that his old playing partner will be able to cut out the silly indiscipline.

“It’s unlike Tomás,” Moynihan told TheScore.ie. “Tomás is a fantastic player, and he probably has never been in better shape. He’s in great physical shape; he’s playing great football.

“What happened the last day was just a little bit innocuous. He did raise his hand, and I think the Laois player didn’t even go down, but it was right in front of the ref and he sent him off.

I suppose it’s like anything, he got sent off a few weeks ago and you give a dog a bad name so he’s being watched a little bit. No doubt Tomás will learn from it, and he just has to get his discipline back in line and let his football do the talking. That’s what we want Tomás Ó Sé doing, because he’s flying in that department.

Although Ó Sé was available for the game against Cork having served his suspension against Down and Donegal, manager Jack O’Connor chose to stick with Peter Crowley at wing-back that day and used Ó Sé as a second-half substitute.

There’s no doubt that O’Connor will be frustrated by Sunday’s repeat infraction, Moynihan admits, but there’ll be nobody more disappointed than Ó Sé himself.

“At the end of the day, obviously Jack is manager and Jack will deal with it in his own way.

No doubt Jack will be disappointed because he knows how much Tomás can bring to the table and what a valuable player he is. But Jack will need Tomás playing for 70 minutes — he doesn’t need him for 10 or 15, he needs him for 70.

At the end of the day, there’s no more disappointed man than Tomás Ó Sé. He knows it was an error — a second error now — and there’s no doubt that he’ll try to amend that and get his discipline back to the level that it should be at.

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Niall Kelly

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