Joe O’Connor will finally be able to enjoy his first competitive start as Kerry football captain against relegation-threatened Tyrone on Sunday.
he Austin Stacks man was called up by his club earlier this year but a knee injury sustained in the Munster club’s recent defeat by St Finbarr’s delayed his chance to impress in his new leadership role.
But after coming on as a substitute against Armagh last weekend, O’Connor will now work alongside his namesake Diarmuid in Kerry’s engine room.
Despite Kerry qualifying for the Allianz FL Division 1 Finals with a game to go, manager Jack O’Connor has resisted the temptation to make sweeping changes…perhaps not a complete surprise as this is seen as an opportunity for last-ditch revenge the surprise of the year All-Ireland semi-final reversal.
However, there are still five changes from the team that started at the Athletic Grounds. Shaun Murphy returns in place of Shane Ryan while O’Connor continues to rotate his goalkeeping options. O’Connor’s first league start (after a few cameo appearances last year) comes at the expense of midfielder Jack Barry.
Meanwhile, David Clifford returns to the front after initially being rested against Armagh only to come off the bench and score to make it 2-1 while there are more recalls for Micheál Burns and Paul Geaney.
The three forwards left behind in the reshuffle are Paudie Clifford and Spillane brothers Adrian and Killian.
Gavin White is listed among the substitutions after recovering from a hamstring injury on day one of the league in Kildare but there is still no sign of long-term absentee David Moran, while Dara Moynihan is again sidelined with a slight knock.
Kerry (NFL vs. Tyrone): S Murphy; D Casey, J Foley, T O’Sullivan; G. O’Sullivan, T. Morley, B. Ó Beaglaíoch; D O’Connor, J O’Connor; S O’Brien, J Savage, M Burns; T Brosnan, D Clifford, P Geaney. Substitutes: S Ryan, P Clifford, J Barry, A Spillane, K Spillane, G Horan, D Roche, P Warren, G Crowley, G White, É Ó Conchúir.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/joe-oconnor-to-start-first-competitive-game-as-kerry-captain-against-tyrone-41488984.html Joe O’Connor starts first competitive game as Kerry captain against Tyrone