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31st Aug 2019

Dublin and Kerry announce All-Ireland teams but here’s who we reckon is really starting

Patrick McCarry

Dublin Kerry

If Peter Keane and Jim Gavin go ahead with the starting 15s they have just announced, feel free to knock us down with a feather.

The Dublin Kerry rivalry will get a new chapter on Sunday, September 1. The official starting teams have been submitted but expect some late changes.

If GAA Congress gets it’s act together and simply ensures inter-county sides release their matchday squads – with no late changes permitted – this could be the last time we see these ‘starting 15s’ that get sent out a day or two before games.

Dublin face Kerry in the All-Ireland final at Croke Park, on Sunday, and we’ll either have new champions or Dublin will achieve their five-in-a-row goal and inch another Sam Maguire closer to The Kingdom:

Ahead of the game, Kerry boss Peter Keane was the first to release the names what could well be the 15 men he will start against the Dubs on Sunday.

There is only one change from the Kerry 15 that started against Tyrone in the semi-final, with Gavin White coming in for Shane Enright. Elsewhere, forward Tommy Walsh will be among the replacements.


1. Shane Ryan

2. Jason Foley (Ballydonghue)
3. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe)
7. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)
9. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)

10. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)
11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)

The Dubs, meanwhile, named their team just after midday on Saturday. The likes of Philly McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Connolly and Rory O’Carroll do not feature and should be nestled in there with the replacements, along with Cormac Costello and Paddy Andrews.

Although there may be a late tweak or two, if Gavin keeps up his trend of changing up the submitted 15 before throw-in, that Dublin midfield and forward line looks nailed on to start.


Late inclusions

On The GAA Hour’s big All-Ireland preview show, Colm Parkinson discussed both likely starting teams as part of a fascinating section on match-ups. First up, Parkinson can see Jack Barry – not named in the starting Kerry team – going up against Brian Fenton:

“The plus of having him in there is he can compete in the air, because he’s a monster of a man. Also he has no problem sacrificing his game just to follow Fenton. He has the physique as well.”

Parkinson believes Keane may indeed start Shane Enright, who was often tasked with man-marking dangerous forwards by former Kerry boss Eamon Fitzmaurice. He can also see Gavin putting in McMahon and O’Sullivan in from the start:

“If Tommy Walsh starts, which I think he should, it throws Dublin’s match-ups into disarray. It rips up the script. Now Fitzsimons will probably have to go over or maybe Philly McMahon…Here’s the thing, play Tommy Walsh, have him out for kickouts. Let Philly McMahon mark him. Philly wouldn’t compete with him, then get him back in. Let him in and out. What would Dublin not want? It’s this headache…”

Starts for Cian O’Sullivan and Philly McMahon would probably come at the expense of Davy Byrne and Michael Fitzsimons, although John Small dropping out would also come into consideration.

For Parkinson, starting Tommy Walsh would be the best way to use the veteran forward as, he feels, it is crucial to go into half-time either leading Dublin or being right on their coat-tails. There is no point, he argues, of going with Walsh when it may be too late and be reduced to pumping in high balls to him.

You have your submitted teams but look out for the likes of Barry, O’Sullivan, Walsh and McMahon come throw-in on Sunday.