Former Kerry minor star Stefan Okunbor set for senior debut in 2022 opener
Jack O'Connor has managed the 22-year-old before.
After a stint in Australia with the Geelong Cats, Stefan Okunbor returned to Ireland, last year, and set his sights on senior football with The Kingdom.
Having helped the Kerry Minors to All-Ireland glory in 2016, the Na Gaeil club man then progressed to U20 level and won Player of the Year at that age grade. He was coached by Jack O'Connor, who is now back as coach of the senior panel.
Okunbur had three seasons of Aussie Rules with Geelong but found his progress hampered by Covid shutdowns and injuries. Announcing his departure, last September, Geelong stated:
'Stefan showed great desire and commitment to become a better player. He was limited by injury and the lack of games through the shutdown. He is now back in Ireland and we hope he can enjoy a successful Gaelic football career.'
Okunbur has impressed in club outings since returning to Kerry and is set for his senior debut, tonight, after being named in a McGrath Cup starting 15 by O'Connor. He was last seen for divisional side St Brendan's, against Austin Stacks, last November.
Stefan Okunbur named in Kerry team led by David Clifford
Jack O'Connor took over from Peter Keane after Kerry lost out in the All-Ireland semi-final to eventual winners Tyrone. He left his post at Kildare and returned home for another go at inter-county management on home turf.
O'Connor and Kerry are certainly not fooling about with their team selection for this McGrath Cup 'Group B' encounter with the Treaty County.
Stefan Okunbur has been named in the midfield pairing with Adrian Spillane, with captain David Clifford, his brother Paudie, Stephen O'Brien and Paul Geaney all in a strong forwards unit.
Kerry's depth, at this early stage of the year, looks to be improving with the likes of Sean O'Shea, Michael Burns, Jack Savage and Tony Brosnan all on the bench.
KERRY TEAM (to face Limerick)
1. Shane Murphy (Dr Crokes)
2. Dan O Donoghue (Spa, Killarney)
3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)
5. Pa Warren (Gneeveguilla)
6. Mike Breen (Beaufort)
7. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe)
8. Stefan Okunbor (Na Gaeil)
9. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)
10. Dara Moynihan (Spa, Killarney)
11. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)
12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks)
13. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)
14. David Clifford (Fossa)
15. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
SUBS: Shane Ryan, Tony Brosnan, Brian Ó Beaglaíoch. Sean O'Shea, Michael Burns, Jack Savage, Paul O'Shea, Dara Roche, Cian Gammel.
The game between Kerry and Limerick takes place at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, with throw-in at 7pm.