Dr Crokes selector Harry O’Neill is anticipating a tough encounter when they travel to Quilty to take on Kilmurry Ibrickane in the Munster Club SFC quarter-final on Sunday.
Travelling from Killarney, the Kerry champions are wary of the home support Kilmurry Ibrickane will have supporting them tomorrow. “An away game up in Clare is never going to be easy, whether it was Cratloe or Kilmurry Ibrickane it was always going to be a very difficult game to face but you’re not going to get any game easy in a Munster Club no matter if you’re going to Waterford, Clare, Limerick, Tipp or Cork all games are going to be tough”.
Speaking to Radio Kerry, O’Neill admitted that more focus is placed on away trips and as a management they are confident they have their work done. “Going away from home too makes it that little bit tougher aswell, you’re going away so you have to be prepared for it, you’re on a bus you have to get things done right so there’s a sense of purpose in what you’re doing when you have an away game like this”.
It will be his second time in the space of a week visiting Co Clare having made the trip to Cusack Park last Sunday to watch the Clare SFC Final replay. “A few of us went up to have a look at that replay and in fairness to them they were very impressive, I think they changed their tactics a bit from the previous day, they changed personnel around, the first half was nip and tuck but they really came out in the second half and blew Cratloe away and were very impressive in what they did”.
Four years ago the sides met at the same stage of the competition in the same venue. Dr Crokes edged out the Bricks by the smallest of margins and O’Neill who led Crokes to back to back titles as manager at the start of the decade knows what Kilmurry are capable of.
“We know from the last experience that we had above in Quilty with Kilmurry Ibrickane that nothing comes easy, our lads were ten points up eight minutes into the second half that day and only hung on by the skin of their teeth, these guys won’t go away they’re a tough bunch, there’s a lot of experienced guys playing with them and they’re going to bring everything they can to try and beat us”.
Alongside manager Pat O’Shea and their fellow selector, Harry study their opponents before picking their own team. Having analysed Kilmurry Ibrickane last weekend they will be planning to continue with this formula for their team selection.
“What we’ve been trying to do with most of the games in Kerry and I suppose we’ll try and do the same now that we move in Munster is to have a look at the opposition and we’ll try and set our team up as best we can to try and take down the opposition and that’s the way we go. When we have plenty of players and a very strong panel this year it’s up to us in the management side to try and utilise the players as best we can, what we try to do is pick the best and the best setup of the team to take on the opposition that we face in any given day”.
Meanwhile despite fears that he would miss Sunday’s game, Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Peter O’Dwyer will line out for his club tomorrow.