Kerry vs Galway: All Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Talking Points | GAA News
Will Kerry end his eight-year wait for an All-Ireland title? Or can Galway claim its first crown since 2001?
The stats pointing to a Kerry win?
Each time Jack O’Connor has won an All-Ireland title as Kerry manager, it has been preceded by a National League crown. And each time he guided the Kingdom to league success, the Sam Maguire Cup followed later that year.
After claiming spring honours, will O’Connor’s team continue this trend?
Another bit of promise for Kerry is that every time Tyrone has won an All-Ireland title in its history, it’s been followed by Jack O’Connor leading Kerry up the steps of the Hogan Stand 12 months later.
Mickey Harte’s team won in 2003, 2005 and 2008. O’Connor responded with wins in 2004, 2006 and 2009.
After Tyrone’s unlikely 2021 triumph, can Kerry produce again under O’Connor?
Can Galway seize its opportunity like in 1998?
Heading into the 1998 season, there was little evidence from the Championship to suggest Galway was about to experience anything special.
They had not reached an All-Ireland final since 1983 and had won just one Connacht title in the previous 10 years.
The tribesmen were mere spectators as their provincial rivals Mayo competed in successive All-Ireland decisions in 1996 and 1997. The men in green and red were unable to cross the line, but John O’Mahony’s outfit delivered in 1998.
Pádraic Joyce’s charges came in 2022 under similar circumstances. Mayo knocked them out in 2020 and 2021, as James Horan’s side fell at the final hurdle in their Sam Maguire Cup bid in consecutive years.
Could Galway once again show its neighbors what it’s like on Gaelic football’s biggest day?
Highlights of Galway’s hard-fought semi-final win over Derry
Did Kerry create two monsters in League 2021?
Kerry’s jaw-dropping stunner throughout the 2021 National League campaign featured thrashings from Tyrone and Galway.
The Red Hands were beaten 6-15 1-14 in the Division 1 semi-finals. Following their victory in All-Ireland last September, the Ulster team camp openly reflected on how this beating forced a rethink.
Likewise, the tribesmen faced a long journey back from Tralee after succumbing to a 4-21 0-11 defeat. Could it have a similar effect?
This year, Galway have noticeably tightened up at the rear.
Their improved defense, bolstered by the addition of Cian O’Neill to their management team, may have been born out of that loss in May 2021.
If Galway were to win on Sunday, could Kerry be left on the streets dealing heavy blows to the two teams that knocked them out in the following two Championship campaigns?
Kerry’s new defensive solidity
The Kingdom’s attacking riches were no secret in 2022. A forward line led by David Clifford, Seán O’Shea, Paudie Clifford and Paul Geaney was always going to make sure their side weren’t far short of the All-Ireland title.
But where Jack O’Connor’s side have made real progress this year is in defence.
The way Tyrone knocked Kerry down for 3-14 in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final was a concern for the returning manager, and he set about building a stronger foundation.
The addition of Paddy Tally has been widely hailed as a key step, and the Munster side are getting plenty more from Jason Foley and Tadhg Morley.
Shane Ryan prevailed in the battle for the starting number one jersey, and it all came together in a tighter defensive unit.
So far in 2022 in 15 matches they have conceded just three goals. And only one green flag has been given in the four league games so far.
If they stay watertight in the All-Ireland final, it could be the basis for the county’s 38th success.
Highlights from Kerry’s dramatic semi-final win over Dublin
The high turnover of Galway players
Of the side that faced Derry in the All-Ireland semi-finals, only three players remained from the penultimate round against Dublin in 2018: Shane Walsh, Damien Comer and Johnny Heaney.
Pádraic Joyce has slowly rebuilt his roster, with eight players introduced to the winning U20 All-Ireland squad of 2020.
“I’ve been through, someone told me today, 86 or 87 players since I arrived, so again people might think I’m ruthless guys, but I never let go. only drop three guys as far as I can remember,” Joyce pointed out.
“The others just didn’t stay involved or couldn’t engage for different reasons and that’s good, you respect people for that because even coming back there’s only four or five members. of the team involved since 2018 when we got to a semi-final before but these things happen.
“Since then we have built a new team and there is a good mix, there are young guys and a good mix of experience and youth.
This young team, freed from the baggage of waiting for a big result at Croke Park, plays with abandon. Nevertheless, they are against all odds on Sunday afternoon.
Watch Kerry v Galway in the SFC All-Ireland Final live on Sky Sports Arena from 2.30pm on Sunday.