HomeFootballJack O’Connor blasts ‘distraction’ of All-Ireland SFC draw after Kerry’s Munster SFC...

Jack O’Connor blasts ‘distraction’ of All-Ireland SFC draw after Kerry’s Munster SFC title win


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A Clare supporter takes a selfie with Kerry manager Jack O’Connor after the Munster SFC final at Cusack Park in Ennis, Clare. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jack O’Connor has reiterated his belief that making the draw for the All-Ireland SFC group stages last Tuesday created a “distraction” for provincial finalists that could easily have been avoided.

The Kerry boss was speaking in the wake of their seven-point win over Clare, landing an 85th Munster title for the Kingdom, including 11 of the last 12.

“I can’t get my head around why they make the draw before it. What’s wrong with making the draw this evening? You still have two weeks to promote the thing. I can’t see the benefit of it. It’s a distraction,” he claimed.

His captain, Paudie Clifford, offered a different slant on the timing of the Sam Maguire draw, suggesting that it hadn’t distracted the Kerry players.

“We started the game fairly well, got into a nice lead but let it slip a bit. We have to just go back and look at what happened and why we dropped off a bit, but we’re just happy to get through it,” Clifford remarked.

O’Connor was pleased with the feisty challenge provided by Division 3 hopefuls Clare, but he accepted there is plenty of scope for improvement ahead of a group campaign that will see Kerry face Monaghan (at home), Meath (away) and the beaten Leinster finalists, more than likely Louth, on neutral turf.

And he will hope to have a full panel to choose from against Monaghan in a fortnight, even though Gavin White departed the Ennis fray after taking a heavy collision to his head while Graham O’Sullivan missed out through injury.

“He (White) just got a bit of a belt and was just taken off under the HIA protocols, so we’ll see how he is,” O’Connor explained, adding that O’Sullivan’s groin issue was “minor enough. With a week’s rest and a bit of rehab, he’ll be fine.”

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