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All Ireland Preview: Chinks appear in Kerry armour

The 2010 football championship has already thrown up its share of surprise results.

And now as the All Ireland football qualifiers gather momentum look out for more.

All Ireland champions Kerry are short priced favourites to retain the Sam Maguire.

But all isn’t well in the Kingdom as they come to terms with the loss through suspension of both Paul Galvin and Tomas O Se.

Without question they are Kerry’s two most gifted defenders by some distance.

But manager Jack O’Connor will have to plan without both men for his side’s All Ireland qualifier next month which leaves him seriously short of defensive cover.

You can argue that such are Kerry’s resources that they are well able to cope.

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But come next month and Kerry will go into a quarter-final short of as many as six of last year’s All Ireland winning side.

The missing six hold 22 All Ireland senior medals and 16 All Stars between them so underlining the depth of talent and experience available to Jack O’Connor and his selectors.

It’s a huge turnover even for a county like Kerry whose talent pool is fathoms deeper than most of their rivals.

Diarmuid Murphy and Darragh O Se have retired, Tadhg Kennelly and Tommy Walsh are currently sampling the delights of Aussie Rules while Tomas O Se and Paul Galvin are unavailable through suspension.

As of now Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Monaghan, and Cavan remain in contention in the qualifiers though that picture will change over the weekend.

Last season Liam Bradley’s Antrim were agonisingly close to dumping Kerry out of the championship.

Who’s to say an Ulster side can’t go one better providing they get the opportunity to shine next month.

Just now the whole focus for Tyrone and Monaghan is on their Ulster final showdown on Sunday week.

There is no doubt the losers in Clones would relish the prospect of crossing swords with Jack O’ Connor’s side and that would certainly make for one game to savour.

For Monaghan the spur would be revenge for previous championship heartbreaks.

Tyrone would see such a game as an opportunity to reaffirm their status as Kerry’s bogey team.

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