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James O'Donoghue: Kerry are in a good place

Updated: Sunday, 24 Aug 2014 15:51 | Comments

James O'Donoghue kicked 0-10 as Kerry breezed past Cork in the Munster final
James O'Donoghue kicked 0-10 as Kerry breezed past Cork in the Munster final

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Kerry’s star forward James O’Donoghue believes his side have it in them to get over Mayo and qualify for the county’s first All-Ireland final since 2011.

Despite the retirement of Paul Galvin and Tomás Ó Sé, and the absence of Colm Cooper after he tore his cruciate last February, the Kingdom have rebounded well and signalled their intent with a resounding win over Cork in this year’s Munster final.

They then followed that up with a seven-point win over Galway in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

While recognising that Mayo will present a formidable challenge in today’s semi-final at Croke Park, O’Donoghue is confident that Kerry can progress to the final on 21 September.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “Mayo are going to be a tough team to beat. They are very strong, physically. They have very good forwards who all chip in and do a job for them.

"We are going to have our work cut out but we’re in a good place. We have developed this year and I think we have it in the tank to beat them.”

According to O’Donoghue, the competition for places is one factor that has driven Kerry forward this year.

“We have seen over the past couple of years how important the panel is,” he added.

“We have a very strong panel this year. Everybody feels they should be on the starting team. If we get the most out of every player, then we have a really good chance of beating Mayo.”

As things stand, O’Donoghue is odds on to receive All Star recognition this year, yet the Legion clubman feels he can give more to the Kerry cause.

“I’m playing well at the moment. However, I do think there is a bit more to come from me. I have made a few mistakes, done a few silly things in the Kerry jersey. I’m looking to get a bit more sharpness.

"If I can play a good game against Mayo and help Kerry win, then I’ll be delighted." 

Kerry have made three changes for the game.

Watch Kerry v Mayo live on RTÉ Two television from 1445, Sky Sports 3 from 1500. Also live on RTÉ Player and worldwide on GAAGO.

Live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday Sport from 1400.

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