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Rules boss Kernan will play long game to regain crown

By Staff Reporter

Published 01/04/2015

Ireland’s call: Joe Kernan
Ireland’s call: Joe Kernan

The new Ireland International Rules manager, Joe Kernan, has pledged to make his gameplan as simple as possible in an effort to win back the Cormac McAnallen Cup when holders Australia come to Dublin for a one-game series in Croke Park this November.

Speaking at a press conference at headquarters, the former All-Ireland winning manager with Crossmaglen Rangers, Armagh and Ulster discussed the complexities of modern-day Gaelic football, and revealed: "We will just try to simplify this game and keep it as simple as possible.

"We will go back to the traditional way, we will play with intensity. All Irish teams that I have seen over the last number of years have brought that to the game.

"After a bad start last year, they were magnificent. We finished strongly which isn't the way it's supposed to be against professionals. Our catching ability shouldn't be in doubt but we won't be able to go head to head on certain things because of their strength."

And, echoing back to his footballing philosophies when he used Kieran McGeeney as the man to deliver long passes inside to Steven McDonnell and Ronan Clarke, he said: "We'll want to kick the ball into big wide open spaces. That's what we'll try to coach the boys to do, to move that ball long and fast.

"Over these last few years, we're maybe not kicking the ball as long as we could. I can only say what I did in management myself of my own club and county, we did kick the ball long and that's what we'll try and get back to. It's only a matter of refreshing it."

Citing examples of players from less illustrious counties such as Wicklow's Leighton Glynn who turned out to be a great success in this football code, Kernan said that reputations will count for little when he comes to assemble his squad, with the help of selectors Darragh ÓSé of Kerry and Galway's Padraig Joyce.

"It doesn't matter where they're from. If anyone can add to the team, we'll use them," said Kernan.

"The bottom line is there's no gravy train here. If you don't perform the way that we want to play, you won't be there. It's as simple as that. We'll get that word out early. We'll try and simplify it as I said and use the ball and see how they cope with that."

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