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Tommy Walsh back training with Kerry ahead of 2019, while 'Brick' Walsh set for Deise return

Shane Bennett will also be available to Waterford next season.

FORMER YOUNG FOOTBALLER of the Year Tommy Walsh has been included in Peter Keane’s Kerry squad ahead of the 2019 campaign, according to reports in the county. 

Tommy Walsh Tommy Walsh during his last league campaign with Kerry in 2016. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Walsh, who won an All-Ireland with the Kingdom in 2009, last featured for the county under Eamonn Fitzmaurice during the 2016 Allianz Football League. Walsh dropped off the panel prior to that year’s championship, citing a lack of game-time as the reason for his departure. 

The 30-year-old enjoyed his best run of form this year since his return from the AFL in 2015, scoring two goals for Kerins O’Rahilly’s in the championship against reigning champions Dr Crokes. 

O’Rahilly’s made it to the last four of the Kerry SFC, where they lost to the Killarney outfit by nine points. 

Walsh’s club manager Mike Quirke confirmed to Radio Kerry that the ex-Sydney Swan is part of Keane’s plans at this time.

“To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what the situation is there with Tommy,” Quirke said.

I know he’s gone in and he’s done some of the conditioning stuff. I assume he’s on the panel or whatever. I honestly don’t know exactly what his current status is with all that.

“Tommy is above in Cork. To protect him as much as anything else, we don’t bring him down during the week for training.

“If his body is able, and I think it would be able once he’d be managed correctly, I think the guy has definitely got stuff that he can contribute to Kerry.

“So if he is in there, it’s something that he’ll be well able for.”

With the offensive mark part of the experimental rules which will be trialled during the pre-season competitions and potentially the 2019 league, Walsh’s AFL experience means he could be a key weapon for Keane in the spring and beyond.

Michael Walsh is subbed off Michael Walsh leaving the field against Cork last summer. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner is reporting that Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh will throw his lot in with Waterford for another year. 

Walsh broke the record for senior inter-county appearances last summer with 74, but he look set to extend that run in 2019. 

New Waterford manager Padraic Fanning confirmed the news yesterday and added that Shane Bennett – who opted out of the squad last year – will also return to the fold.

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Kevin O'Brien

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