Former inter-county players often love to stay as close to the game as possible after they hang up their boots. Some have great inside knowledge. Others just like to wind the other side up.Kerry vs Mayo Live Gaa Football
One of the narratives of the first All-Ireland football semi final, this week, has been the possibility of 2016 Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan man-marking Kerry full forward Kieran Donaghy at Croke Park. Others have suggested yanking Aidan O’Shea back into defence for the nullifying job.Kerry vs Mayo Live Gaa Football
Team: Kerry vs Mayo Live
Event: GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final 2017
Date : Saturday, August 13
Time : 15:30
‘Star’ tore Galway asunder in the quarters and did a number on Mayo, off the bench, in the epic 2014 semi-final replay. As a ball-winner, link-man and goal threat, Donaghy is as threatening now as he was five years back.
Still, dropping Keegan back in the full back line just to deal with Donaghy would be an odd move from a Mayo side that have looked to have realised their best chance of victory is by committing bodies and bravery to attack.
During a live recording of The GAA Hour in Westport, host Colm Parkinson suggested that Kerry’s other full forwards will be loving the focus on Donaghy. Mayo GAA legend Cora Staunton has pointed out the obvious flaw of obsessing with Donaghy. She commented:
“There has been a lot of talk about Donaghy after his performance the last day but if you focus on him Kerry have Paul Geaney and James O’Donoghue. They’ll be only too delighted to hear it.
“All the pressure is on him. They’ve such a good attack and a great half forward line as well. Paul Murphy had a great day [against Mayo]… they’ve an array of different talents coming from all directions… Putting Lee Keegan back to mark Geaney or Donaghy would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Former Kingdom star Aidan O’Mahony had first-hand experience of marking Donaghy in training. He said:
“I’d often be laughing that some guy might have to mark him for 60 or 70 minutes in the championship but I’d have him for nine months of the year. He was well rehearsed in being pulled and dragged and flaked [by me] so he had the full experience when he went into championship games.
“But, yeah, they’re all different.”
O’Mahony addressed the idea – put forward by Brady – that Mayo half forward Aidan O’Shea could be tasked with man-marking the Kerryman. His Kingdom-tinted remark drew a hearty laugh from the Mayo fans in attendance:
“If you had Aidan O’Shea back on Donaghy and Lee Keegan back on Paul [Geaney], that might suit both teams.”
O’Mahony believes either Keith Higgins or Colm Boyle will be on Donaghy for Sunday afternoon’s last four clash. “It’ll be a fantastic battle, I’d say,” he said.
You can check out the full Mayo vs. Kerry preview on The GAA Hour here: