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Only All-Ireland glory will make it a fantastic year for Kerry: O'Shea

By Michael Varney

Kerry young gun Seán O'Shea believes nothing less than lifting Sam Maguire will ever be deemed a success among the Kingdom faithful regardless of any transition they may be going through.

Standards within Kerry have always remained sky high but with Peter Keane taking the reins, and a host of high-profile retirements like Kieran Donaghy and Donnchadh Walsh, it is likely to take some time to bounce back.

They may have five successive All-Ireland minor titles under their belts but the senior game is a different kettle of fish, although fresh faces like O'Shea, David Clifford and Gavin White were among 2018's best performers.

O'Shea acknowledges that football is "a lot of people's lives" in Kerry and the 2016 All-Ireland minor-winning captain feels that nothing changes the expectations of what they should be achieving.

"For our supporters and players alike, if you don't have an All-Ireland at the end of the year it's not a successful year, no matter whether you win the league or a Munster Championship," O'Shea said.

"That's the benchmark, that's the gauge for Kerry football and it has been forever and it probably won't change either. Every year at the start, every competition you enter you want to win it.

"The squad will be younger than previous years and fellas will be making debuts and looking for game time and others trying to get a place for the Championship and put their name forward."

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