Back to the future for Walsh

Tommy Walsh was named the All-Star Young Footballer of the Year in 2008

KIERAN Donaghy reckons Tommy Walsh could be Kerry’s lethal weapon as the county makes an all-out attempt to prevent Dublin from achieving the five-in-a-row.

The Austin Stacks star, who announced his retirement from inter-county action this week, believes his fellow Tralee man has the ability to be his natural successor if Kerry want to keep the long ball tactic as a viable option.

“I’d be bringing Tommy Walsh back in if I was the manager,” said Donaghy who was the master at getting on the end of a high ball and believed it can still be a worthwhile tactic.

“You go to any game in the country… when that ball goes into the square you could pause it 10 yards out from it hitting the players’ hands and everyone’s on the edge of their seat,” he said.

Kieran Donaghy: tips Walsh for a return

“If you have a weapon inside there, like a Tommy Walsh, my instruction to a team would be, ‘I want four to five high balls a half going in on top of Tommy — and when they go in, I want fellas crashing for the breaks, not just standing around”.

6’ 5” Walsh (30) was crowned Young Footballer of the Year in 2008 and won an All-Ireland medal in 2009, scoring four points in the final. He was quickly snapped up by St Kilda in Australia and later transferred to Sydney Swans before returning home in 2014.

Indifferent form and injuries hindered his comeback for Kerry and he left the squad after not featuring in the latter stages of the championship in 2015. He said he felt he was playing well enough to feature but Eamonn Fitzmaurice went with other players.

But Walsh, who lives and works in Cork, is now back in top form as he proved in last weekend’s Kerry Senior Football Championship when his superb two-goal salvo saw his Kerins O’Rahilly’s side shock champions Dr Crokes.

Asked about the potential of a comeback in the green and gold, he remarked: “I haven’t even thought about it. I’d have to make sure my body was going to be up to it”.

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