Rory Woods may not quite possess the lean, lithe figure of a top-class athlete.
But his razor-sharp brain, unrelenting work-rate and accurate finishing make him a key compnent in the Monaghan side that will face Kerry in the third round of the All Ireland Football Championship qualifiers at Croke Park tomorrow (4.00).
The chunky Woods, deceptively fast and never one to shirk a challenge, will bid to make it a hat-trick of impressive performances following his heroics against both Derry and Donegal to date in the qualifiers.
“We have beaten two top Ulster teams and now we’re facing the All Ireland champions. The qualifiers is certainly a very demanding route,” smiles Woods, a nephew of Monaghan legend Nudie Hughes.
Tomorrow Woods is expected to engage in a head to head with Kerry’s iron-man Aidan O’Mahony - an individual tussle that could ultimately decide the outcome of what is a re-match between the sides from last year’s All Ireland semi-final.
O’Mahony has been the mainstay of the Kerry defence of late but in the recent Munster final against Cork, having caught the eye in the early stages, he became largely subdued after he incurred a yellow card.
Indeed, he offered surprisingly little resistance when Cork staged a dramatic recovery that was fuelled by the introduction of the giant Michael Cussen at full-forward at half-time.
But O’Mahony is nonetheless likely to epitomise the resilience and verve that Kerry are expected to bring to the Croke Park table tomorrow.
They may have been greviously wounded by Cork but they will see their clash with Monaghan as an opportunity to resume their quest for a third successive All Ireland title.
Woods, though, has no intention of helping to pave the way for another Kingdom coup.
His creative flair and ability to pressurise defenders have been serving Monaghan well in the present campaign but Kerry are invariably comfortable in Croke Park, particularly when the chips are down.
Paul Finlay’s free-taking, Eoin Lennon’s midfield acumen and the stubborn streak that has sustained their defence to date will bolster Monaghan.
It would be no more than they deserve if they were to reach the last eight - again.