GAA Football

Captaincy putting unnecessary pressure on Gavin White admits former Kerry ace Marc O Se

Former Kerry star Marc O Se feels the captaincy could be placing needless pressure on the Kingdom's Gavin White. Picture by Inpho
Paul Keane

KERRY legend Marc O Se has admitted the burden of the county's captaincy could be weighing heavily on Gavin White ahead of Saturday's All-Ireland final replay.

It has long been suggested that Kerry should consider ditching the tradition of allowing the county champions, in this case Dr Croke's, to choose the captain, and allow the Kerry manager to pick whoever he wanted.

However, that system is still in place and as a result White, a minor medal winner as recently as 2015, will captain the seniors again for Saturday's All-Ireland final replay - presuming he starts following a below-par performance in the drawn game.

Asked if the captaincy has placed needless pressure on White, and by extension on Kerry's All-Ireland chances, Kingdom great O Se feels it may be.

"I think so, possibly," he said.

"It depends on the character of the man. It's a huge debate down in Kerry for years. In 2003, Kilcummin won the county championship and Mike McCarthy, one of the best players I played with in the Kerry full-back line, he was the captain as a result. But he never opened his mouth in the dressing-room. He was just quiet.

"He was just a quiet man, he did his talking on the field. It was the likes of Darragh [O Se] and Seamus Moynihan who were doing all the talking."

O Se reckons there could be an alternative reason that marc o se eirsport

White didn't reach his potential during the 1-16 apiece stalemate last Sunday week and was the second player replaced; his positioning.

"He is out of his comfort zone, he is playing wing-forward," said O Se. "He did very well against Mayo at wing-forward but he is a defender. So I think we are possibly being a bit unfair on him."

In a move that could potentially free up White to play his best football, O Se has suggested that Kerry could put Stephen O'Brien on Jack McCaffrey - keeping the Dublin half-back honest and focused on his defensive duties first and foremost - move Brian O Beaglaoich to attack, and allow White to return to wing-back.

"I suppose it tells you everything you need to know about Jack McCaffrey that we are actually putting a defender [White] on him," said O Se, a five-time All-Ireland winning corner-back.

"Maybe we need to put a forward on him, put him on the back foot, put him into an area he doesn't want to play. Stephen O'Brien, no better man. It will be interesting to see how it works out at the start of the game. I think that will have a huge bearing on the game."

O Se has also predicted that the appointment of Conor Lane as referee could have a bearing on the game and play into Dublin's hands, agreeing that the Cork man's style is to let things go.

"If he does it will probably stand to Dublin in a way because they're a more physical team, big strong men," he said. "If he does let a little bit more go, it will probably play into Dublin's barrow a bit."

O Se said his gut feeling is that Kerry are capable of completing the task at the second attempt. Crucially, he reckons the Kerry players believe this themselves.

"I'd say the Kerry camp, from what I know of them, there's massive belief there that they can get the job done," he said.

eir sport have launched a new season of sports coverage that promises to be bigger and better than ever, featuring the Rugby World Cup, the GAA Allianz leagues and every game from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League on Virgin Media Sport, now available on the eir sport pack.marc o se

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