Colm Cooper and Ger Brennan agree that Kerry will station Tommy Walsh on the edge of the square and hit him with high balls in Sunday's All-Ireland final against Dublin.
However, the pair, speaking on the latest episode of the RTÉ GAA Podcast, disagree over when he’ll be used and how effective he’ll be.
Kerry legend Cooper thinks that he’ll get some joy out of the Dubs’ defence though he isn’t sure whether manager Peter Keane will start him from throw-in or hold him in reserve.
Brennan, who won All-Irelands with the Boys in Blue in 2011 and 2013, says he’d start Walsh, but doesn't think that he’ll get much change out of Dublin’s full-back line.
"He’s certainly an option for Kerry and Dublin will have prepared for it," said Brennan. "He really steadied the ship when he came in during the Tyrone game and he’s a real option for Peter Keane going into the final.
"If he starts he creates a bit of a dilemma for the Dublin full-back line. Michael Fitzsimons is our tallest defender and if I was doing the match-ups now I’d put him on David Clifford. Jonny Cooper, smaller and dogged, on Paul Geaney, and then it’s Jim’s decision does he start Philly McMahon or Davy Byrne in the full-back line to pick up Tommy Walsh.
"It’s Kerry’s best chance in the opening stages of the game if they can target good, direct ball and it doesn’t have to be just long, diagonal ball because Tommy Walsh, a lot of the ball he won in the second half in the semi-final was one bounce, into the chest and lay it off to a man running off the shoulder.
"From the Dublin perspective, if you look at the damage that comes off the high ball into the full-back line, not that many scores come from it despite the way people are talking about it. If I was Peter Keane, I’d be starting with Geaney, Clifford and Tommy Walsh."
There is a perception that the Dublin full-back line is there to be got at, though they have only conceded two goals in eight championship games to date this season.
Cooper sees the value in starting Walsh, who played in his last All-Ireland final in 2009 before he spent a spell Down Under with Australian Rules outfits Sydney Swans and St Kilda and then struggling to nail down a spot in the Kerry panel on his return, but feels the role of impact substitute may be best.
"I would go long and diagonal with the ball even though I know Ger feels that Dublin are very comfortable in that position," he said.
"It’s a lot easier to get goals that way than trying to run through them because they are too strong defensively. I think Kerry need three goals to win.
"He poses a different problem for Dublin if he plays on top of the square because it’s probably the only area where Dublin have struggled – at times they have looked shaky under the long, diagonal ball.
"Clifford and Geaney are good in the air too so I expect to see Kerry target and get the ball in around the peno spot to see what happens.
"For Kerry they need their substitutes to have a big impact in this match because what we’re hoping with five or ten minutes left that we’re still in this match."
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