Kingdom and Lilywhites take opposite approach to U20 / senior dilemma

August 07, 2018

Kerry's Sean O'Shea and Jimmy Hyland Kildare

Things could have been a lot different this year if Kerry prioritised the U20 FC and / or Kildare focussed on the SFC.

With players not allowed to feature at intercounty level for U20 and senior teams, Kerry senior manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was given the services of both Sean O'Shea and David Clifford, which meant that they were ineligible to tog out for Jack O'Connor's U20s.

While both young men starred for Kerry's seniors in the Super 8s as they narrowly missed out on an All-Ireland semi-final place, the Kingdom U20s captured the inaugural Munster title in the new age grade but were pipped by eventual champions Kildare in a thrilling All-Ireland semi-final last month - 1-14 to 1-13.

Clifford and O'Shea would have made a huge difference in that game, but instead it was Jimmy Hyland who was the star of the show for the Lilywhites, with a match-winning 1-8 haul at the Gaelic Grounds. Hyland followed up with ten points in Sunday's All-Ireland final victory over Mayo, with Brian McLoughlin (1-2) also to the fore.

How different would the year have been if both men were representing the Kildare seniors? Or if Clifford and O'Shea were with the Kerry U20s...

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