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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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Star forwards Clifford and O'Donoghue nearing Kerry return

Meanwhile, Sean O’Shea’s workload will be monitored ahead of the weekend’s visit to Galway.

David Clifford and James O'Donoghue are on the comeback trail from injury.
David Clifford and James O'Donoghue are on the comeback trail from injury.

KERRY MANAGER PETER Keane says he’ll make a decision later this week on whether to include Sean O’Shea in his team for Sunday’s trip to face Galway.

The young forward has been an ever-present in the Kerry side so far in the Division 1 campaign, while he’s also been a key figure in UCC’s run to the Sigerson Cup final.

O’Shea is the joint top scorer in the league overall with 0-26 to his name from three games, while he’s posted 2-13 across three Sigerson Cup matches – including 2-3 in the semi-final on Sunday. 

The Cork college face St Mary’s in the third-level decider tomorrow night in Portlaoise in what will be O’Shea’s seventh competitive game since 16 January.

The clash against the Tribesmen arrives four days later and Keane says he’ll factor the heavy load into his decision over O’Shea’s potential inclusion. 

“I have alluded to the fact before that we will have four league games and three Sigerson Cup games in a short space of time and that increases the expectations on the likes of Seanie O’Shea,” said Keane at a media briefing.

“But there is a lot of football to be played this week so will see how that pans out and see who we have when we sit down and pick the team on Thursday night.”

Brian Ó Beaglaoích will miss the game at Tuam Stadium through suspension, but Keane expects both David Clifford and James O’Donoghue to return in the coming weeks.

In addition, Kevin McCarthy, who scored 3-7 from play for Kilcummin in the All-Ireland JFC club final, is back in training with the squad.

“I reckon David Clifford should be back within the next three weeks, he is in good nick, he is doing a bit of running and he is not far away. James O’Donoghue is in a similar position as he is back on the field and training away.

“Kevin McCarthy is back training with us this week after his club exploits with Kilcummin so we will see what shape he is in.

“Jason Foley and Shane Enright along with Gavin Crowley are also in the mix but look you never know what knocks you might pick up during the week.”

Peter Keane Kerry boss Peter Keane. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Meanwhile, Keane says the reduction in the number of substitutes permitted from six to five in the league has proved “restrictive” for managers.

The move was made as part of football’s experimental rule change which saw a black card punished by a ten-minute sin-bin instead.

“It’s restrictive and we did not introduce Mikey Geaney our fifth sub until the 69th minute against Dublin,” said Keane.

“You could have put a fella on after 62 minutes, your last sub, but then if a fella got injured or went down with cramp, you could find yourself in situation where if you also lost a fella to the sin bin, then you could find yourself with 13 men and maybe trying to hang on to a slender lead.

“We had eight minutes of added time against Cavan so that would be sixteen minutes. That is definitely an issue and something you have to be cognisant of when you are on the line.

“If you have a relatively young team and lads are tiring out there, it’s not helpful. But look it’s the same for everybody so there is not much use in me crying about it only to get on with it. But you do feel the lack of one extra sub.”

–Additional reporting by Murt Murphy

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