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O 'Connor Hoping Big support will aid minors 2015-08-19 07:57:00

O’Connor Hoping Big Support Will Aid Minors
By John Ivory
Kerry minor manager Jack O’Connor wants his side to settle quickly in their All-Ireland semi-final clash with Derry this Sunday and believes past experience of Croke Park will stand to his players.
‘’All I’m hoping for is that it won’t take us as long to settle as it did last year. We felt that we were very jittery for the first twenty minutes last year against Mayo and if Mayo had taken some of their chances we’d have had a mountain to climb.
‘’A few of our players have played there. Mark O’Connor has played in two Hogan Cup finals there, Conor Geaney has played there, a couple of lads saw a bit of action last year, so you know, we’re hoping that’ll stand to them and that they’ll be able to point out a couple of the pitfalls to others.’’
O’Connor highlighted Derry’s strengths and his side will be under no illusions as to the toughness of the task that lies ahead.
‘’They were in bother against Longford at half time, still behind with ten minutes to go, but they dug out a result and they’re a serious team, they’re very dogged. I mean the big win for them really was Donegal.
‘’Donegal were favourites for this competition before a ball was kicked this year so for Derry to beat Donegal tells me that they’re a serious team.
‘’They have a lot of good players. Conor Glass - everyone knows about him - the Aussies have him under observation and they’ve two other midfielders who are very, very big as well and good mobile players. McGuigan is racking up big scores for them up front so they’re formidable no question about it.’’
The fact that Kerry are also in the senior game is something O’Connor believes will help his young side and hopes the large support will benefit his team.
‘’We feel it’s a help of course like, the fact that we’ll have a share of supporters there and we should have more supporters than Derry seeing as our seniors are playing, so that should be a help.’’

Kerry and Derry meet in Minor Semi Final

The curtain raiser at Croke Park on Sunday will see Kerry and Derry go head to head for a place in the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship final. Both sides have been impressive en route to this stage of the competition; Kerry had 11 points to spare against Clare in their opening game before coming through by the tightest margin against Cork in a semi final that went to extra time. The Kingdom had six points to spare against Tipperary in the Munster Final, a side that has since proven its mettle by reaching the semi final stage, and then Kerry had nine point to spare against Sligo in the quarter finals.

Derry also had four games, defeating Down by 7 points and followed that with a 1 point victory over Donegal, who incidentally missed a last minute penalty to win the game, before defeating Cavan by 3 points in the provincial decider and then Leinster runners-up Longford by two points.
Kerry captain, Mark O’Connor, has given his side a massive boost by recovering from injury having missed the semi final and other than the unfortunate Cormac Linnane who is sidelined for the rest of the season, Kerry manager Jack O’Connor and his team can call on a full squad.

Like their senior counterparts, Kerry minors will know that this is a must win game to keep their dream of an All Ireland title alive. So far in this campaign, this very balanced side have matched their skills with a very good work ethic and we wish them well in their efforts to reach the final for a second year in a row.
Referee for Sunday’s game is Jerome Hendry of Mayo and the game throws in at 1:30pm.

Click here for Semi Final Ticket Arrangement

Click here for details of Kerry GAA Supporters Bus to both semi finals on Sunday next