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25th Feb 2023

Jack O’Connor is done messing about as he names one hell of a starting XV for Kerry

Lee Costello

Playtime is over.

Kerry have announced their starting XV to play Armagh in today’s Allianz National football league clash, and they heave brought in the big guns.

Jack O’Connor has clearly had enough of this ‘resting’ players malarky, it’s time to start getting some points on the board and some wins in the bank.

The Kingdom suffered defeat on the opening day in a shock loss to Donegal, and although they cruised through Monaghan, they found themselves in the deep end against a rejuvenated Mayo team.

If anyone knows anything about the Kerry manager, it’s that he absolutely abhors losing – he isn’t interested in taking positives here and there, it’s all about winning.

Paudie Clifford made his first start last week in Connacht, while David Clifford and Sean O’Shea were introduced in the second half, although the game had gone at this stage.

This time they are straight into the team as O’Connor will want his best players to get start putting a run together before the championship kicks off.

Kerry team

Interestingly Adrian Spillane has also been named in the starting team – many expected him to kick on after his impressive impact off the bench in last year’s All-Ireland final.

However, for one reason or another, even with the absence of O’Shea and Clifford, the flying forward was still down the pecking order but gets his chance today at wing forward.

Armagh aren’t messing around either, and have had a mixed bag of a league campaign so far.

Tiernan Kelly has been in the papers for all the right reasons this time around, adding fantastic energy and power to their forward line, while Rian O’Neill has been his usual talismanic self.

Kieran McGeeney prides his time on playing fast flowing football with lots of kicking and attacking prowess.

This means that the orchard county are often involved in the most exciting games of the weekend, notably their incredible draw against Mayo two weeks ago, where they pulled back five points late on.

With a ravenous Kerry team ready to rock, Armagh are rolling into town full of confidence themselves, and it should be a very entertaining game.

You can watch it live on RTE Two at 5pm.

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