| 3.2°C Belfast

McGahan has plan to close the gap on top dogs Dublin


David Clifford

David Clifford

�INPHO/Bryan Keane

David Clifford

Kerry's Head of Athletic Development, Jason McGahan, has flashed a message of encouragement to those teams who believe they have a viable chance of perhaps matching Dublin's pace and stamina.

The Armagh native has undertaken a close study of a number of teams and has come to the conclusion that if their physical staying power improves further and is complemented by mental strength, they can get on an equal footing with Dessie Farrell's side.

McGahan pinpoints just why Dublin are ahead of the pack in terms of athleticism but suggests that Kerry can now lead the charge to knock them off their pedestal.

"Bryan Cullen is entering his fifth year with Dublin in supervising their overall athleticism and when you consider how his predecessor Martin Kennedy, who is now with the IRFU, was building them up for the eight years before that you can see why the Dubs lead the field," declares McGahan.

"While we have only one year done with Kerry, I don't think the players here will be too far away. They've definitely bought into it."

"I think Kerry have come on a lot from where they were.

"I've no doubt they'll look back on last year and say 'we're not too far away' and they will build on that, they'll be pushing on hard."

While several team managements are striving to take a leaf out of Dublin's book, McGahan is prepared to do things his own way.

"While we recognise the standards that Dublin have set, we are taking our own approach in trying to get there and the response from the lads has been tremendous," reveals McGahan.

Kerry skipper David Clifford is preparing to lead his side against Tyrone on Sunday and is hopeful that their levels of athleticism and durability will help to bolster their performance as they seek to remain unbeaten.

"While teams like Dublin and Tyrone are in great physical condition, I think that we are particularly fortunate to have someone like Jason with his expertise," he says.

"This is going to lead to further physical development for Kerry and I think the future looks bright for us."

He may have just recently shed his Under 20 status but Clifford is regarded right now as one of the best forwards in the country and is destined to pose a major threat to the Tyrone defence on Sunday - one that could still be without three key players.

Belfast Telegraph