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'When you're one of the greatest footballers of all-time's son, the pressure is massive'

Marc Ó Sé has endorsed the parentage rule as Pat Spillane Jr shines for Sligo.

Sligo's Pat Spillane Jr.
Sligo's Pat Spillane Jr.
Image: Evan Treacy/INPHO

MARC Ó SÉ says he’s in favour of players being allowed represent counties through the parentage rule, as Pat Spillane Jr did for Sligo at the weekend.

The Kerry native played his second league game for mother’s home county in their 23-point win over Carlow in Division 4 yesterday.

Spillane, the son of eight-time Kerry All-Ireland winner Pat, kicked two points off the bench as Tony McEntee’s side continued their impressive start to the season.

Conor Cox and Shane Horan, who hail from Kerry and Dublin respectively, switched to play for Roscommon and Offaly in recent years under the same rule, and Spillane has continued that trend.

“Once they’re enjoying themselves, I’d definitely endorse it,” said Ó Sé on the latest episode of The42 GAA Weekly.

“He wasn’t really on the radar with Kerry. He was playing with a good Templenoe team. You had a lot of fellas who made the grade: Tadhg Morey, Gavin Crowley, Adrian Spillane, Killian Spillane, unfortunately Pat never made the grade with Kerry.

“He was physically very like his dad to look at, strength-wise, the whole lot. We’d have come up against him on a good few occasions and he actually did quite well against us. He scored a goal against us in an intermediate final one year.”

Spillane starred for St Jude’s at midfield as they reached last season’s Dublin SFC final.

“Lovely young fella, met him a few times when I was down in Templenoe and hopefully he’ll do well now,” continued Ó Sé. “Because he has big shoes to fill.

“When you’re one of the greatest footballers of all-time’s son, the pressure that’s on him is massive. But I’d imagine he’ll enjoy his football now and there won’t be that much pressure on him.

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“I see Conor Jordan won a county championship with Austin Stacks, serious player. He’s gone up to Clare. You see him playing county championship football and you say to yourself, ‘He wouldn’t look out of place playing inter-county football.’

“Okay fair enough, it’s a short enough journey compared to what Pat Spillane Jr has to do, but it’s a fair commitment.

“My uncle Paidi could have qualified for the parent rule. My grandmother was from Sligo, Ballymoate. In the first year Paidi won the All-Ireland in 1975, who did they play in the semi-final only Sligo. So my grandmother often tells the tale – I asked her who she was supporting – she said Kerry all the way!”

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

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Kevin O'Brien

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