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Galway's reshuffle has come far too late: Tomás ÓSé

By Declan Bogue

In the world of 'Yerrah', getting a Kerry man to speak his mind about football can be exceptionally hard. Until they become a newspaper columnist that is, then you struggle to stem the flow of opinion.

Take Tomás ÓSé for example. In his playing days he preferred to pull a baseball cap down tight over his eyebrows and stare at his trainers as he left the dressing room and bailed straight onto the team bus.

Now, released from the stifling confines of the dressing room and plunged into the studios of The Sunday Game and into newspaper service with The Irish Independent, his thinking about Kerry's quarter-final this weekend against Galway is forthright and blunt.

"I'm not so sure about the current Galway team. Actually, I'll cut to the quick here and say simply I think Kerry have better players than Galway now,' said ÓSé.

"I know that in itself doesn't guarantee anything, because a team with enough hunger and passion can still get a run on you.

"In other words, Kerry have to be going from the first whistle on Sunday. I also think they'll play a lot more direct football than Tipperary did last weekend and on the evidence of the Mayo game, Galway's full-back line could be vulnerable to the early ball."

Galway took a hosing from Mayo in the Connacht final and since then, manager Alan Mulholland has hastily assembled a blanket defence of sorts, but it's not impressing ÓSé.

"I expect they will have a plan for James O'Donoghue and will set themselves up defensively," he felt.

"I watched Galway closely against Tipp and they had plenty of fellas in defence who didn't seem to be doing a lot back there.

"How can you hope to reinvent yourself in a couple of weeks when the pressure is full on? You just can't. It's one thing having 12 bodies back, it's another knowing what they're all doing."

Sunday's other quarter-final features Cork and Mayo. In a world of footballing pragmatism, Mayo are much further down the road. As one man in the north is given to saying every now and then, the best system wins.

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