Gooch ready for ‘massive battle’
Kerry may be Munster senior football champions but Kingdom captain Colm Cooper reckons a highly charged battle is in prospect against arch rivals and reigning league title holders Cork this Sunday at Pairc Ui Chaoimh (throw in at 2pm). Cork boss Conor Counihan has resisted temptation to make any changes to the Rebel lineup and keeps faith with the starting 15 from the league final win.
The Kingdom has had the upper hand over the Rebels in recent years, beating Cork in the 2010 and 2011 Munster Championship but the Leesiders come into this game as three time league champions.
Jack O’ Connor has made four changes from the side that beat Tipperary in the previous round with the experienced quartet of Kieran Donaghy, Marc O Se, Seamus Scanlon and Aidan O’ Mahony coming in to the starting fifteen
Shane Enright, Patrick Curtin and Daniel Bohan all miss out while Bryan Sheehan has been replaced by Scanlon because of a knee problem.
Kieran Donaghy says the fact the game is in Cork makes it even tougher for the Kingdom to make it through to the Munster final, where they would face the winners of Clare and Limerick.
On the other hand, the Rebels injury problems seem to be clearing and manager Conor Counihan has reported having a full squad to choose from.
This includes long term absentees Daniel Goulding and Ciaran Sheehan as well as hero of the 2012 League success, Colm O’Neill.
One of their team mates, dual star Eoin Cadogan meanwhile is wary of Kerry’s pedigree, noting that they have appeared in seven of the last eight All Ireland Finals.
Eoin Cadogan, Colm Cooper and Kieran Donaghy were appearing at the launch of the new Adidas Predator boot.