Cordal’s Philip O’Connor will make his first Allianz National League start in the glamour opener against All-Ireland champions Dublin in Croke Park on Saturday evening at 7pm. He had been introduced as a sub in a number of NFL games last season.
When he came on against Mayo in the opening round in Killarney this time last year he was the first Cordal man to play senior football for Kerry since the great Tim ‘Tiger’ Lyons who won two All-Irelands with Kerry in 1959 and 1962.
Philip, who will line out at corner forward against the Dubs, won an All-Ireland Junior Medal with Kerry in 2015.
The Kerry team in Croke Park on Saturday evening is a much changed side from that which did duty on All-Ireland final day four months ago.
Just eight of that September side are named in the starting 15 this time round while three more, Paul Murphy, Darran O’Sullivan and Barry John Keane were introduced as substitutes in that encounter.
Brian Ó Beaglaoich of An Ghaeltacht, who won an All-Ireland minor medal in 2014, makes his League debut at corner back.
The team, captained by Killian Young is as follows:
1. Brendan Kealy, Kilcummin; 2. Brian Ó Beaglaoich, An Ghaeltacht; 3. Mark Griffin, St Michaels/Foilmore; 4. Shane Enright, Tarbert;
5. Paul Murphy, Rathmore; 6. Killian Young, (C) Renard; 7. Fionn Fitzgerald, Dr Crokes; 8. David Moran, Kerins O’Rahillys; 9. Johnny Buckley, Dr Crokes; 10. Stephen O’Brien, Kenmare; 11. Darran O’Sullivan, Glenbeigh-Glencar; 12. Donnchadh Walsh, Cromane;
13. Barry John Keane, Kerins O’Rahillys; 14. Tommy Walsh, Kerins O’Rahillys and 15. Philip O’Connor, Cordal.
16. Brian Kelly Killarney, Legion; 17. Jonathan Lyne Killarney, Legion; 18. Padraig O’Connor, Killarney Legion; 19. Pa Kilkenny, Glenbeigh/Glencar; 20. Brendan O’Sullivan, Valentia; 21. Jamie O’Sullivan, Killarney Legion; 22. Gavin O’Grady, Glenbeigh-Glencar; 23. Paul O’Sullivan, Valentia; 24. Marcus Mangan, Milltown-Castlemaine; 25. Tom O’Sullivan, Dingle and 26. Conor Cox. Listowel Emmets.