Kerry's captain selection for 2022 sums up the problem with their outdated system 3 months ago

Kerry's captain selection for 2022 sums up the problem with their outdated system

"That’s the system and it’s stood Kerry well in the past."

Kerry have continued with their long-standing practice of having their county captain be a part of that year's club championship-winning team.

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That means that this year an Austin Stacks player will be named captain, and it appears as though Joe O'Connor is set to be nominated for the position.

However, this is where cracks can appear in the system, as O'Connor wasn't a regular starter during his short county career under Peter Keane thus far.

It does feel counterproductive to announce that the leader of your team is someone who hasn't yet made the forward step into the line-up as a guaranteed starter.

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However, O'Connor has had a brilliant season in the middle of the park for Austin Stacks, and would no doubt be a viable option, especially under the Kingdom's new management.

The midfielder isn't available for selection at the moment anyway, due to an injury he picked up at Semple Stadium in the Stacks' Munster final loss to St Finbarr's.

Initially, there was concern that the player's cruciate was injured, but current Kerry boss Jack O'Connor has confirmed that this isn't the case.

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"It has been confirmed that it looks like a cartilage problem more than ligaments, so that is good news and that is about the best news that he could have got," said the new gaffer.

"The captaincy is something that will be discussed between Austin Stacks and the county board. It is irrelevant the way I feel about it because that is the system.

"I am a pragmatist and there is no point in me getting excited about it. Sure, you cannot have everything you like. That’s the system and it’s stood Kerry well in the past and until that is changed, that is good enough for me."

Kerry's inter-county hurling squad use this system too, while Kilkenny is the only other county to also implement it.

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One player that won't be available for selection this season, is 2014 Player of the Year James O'Donoghue, who has just announced his retirement from Kerry.

An All-Ireland winner in 2014 and with two All-Stars in his back pocket, the sharp shooter hit the heights early in his Kerry career, but unfortunately a run of bad luck and injuries, meant that he was soon out of favour.

After dropping out of the panel last year, he has confirmed that he won't return this season under Jack O'Connor.