It has emerged this morning that Kieran Donaghy will not start for Kerry when they face up to Dublin this weekend in the second All-Ireland Semi-Final.
And with only four days to go until throw-in at GAA headquarters, the build-up and preparation is in full-swing.
However, everything is not going according to plan for all of the players as 30-year-old Donaghy was informed this week that he would not be taking part in the match from the very off.
As reported by Colm Keys from the Irish Independent, James O’ Donoghue has been named in place of the Austin Stacks club man having recovered from injury in time for the all-important fixture, and the change is one of a number of alterations that manager Eamonn Fitzmaruice has decided to make.
It would appear that some have been forced due to injuries, while others have been carried out for tactical reasons. On such other change sees Mark Griffin take up the spot vacated by the sidelined Killian Young in defence.
The Kingdom will hope that these alterations will prove the difference between the two sides when they face off against each other at an atmospheric Croke Park on Sunday, although it’s sure to be a tough battle all around the pitch, especially with the support of Hill 16 behind the Dubs.
Although Dublin are the current favourites to emerge victorious for this one, it remains to be seen whether Fitzmaurice’s changes will wrong-foot the Dubs on the day. Kerry have been trundling along quite without much fanfare of pomp throughout the Championship, so they still seem a bit of a mystery.
Granted, they have so many experienced players it would be foolish to discount them, however it’s still difficult to see them churning out a great performance after what’s been quite a low-key run from them so far.
Of course, whoever wins this match will already know they have to take on the Connacht Champions Mayo in the final. But this last-four encounter will be a chance for both sides to take up the mantle of favourites if they can pull out a top-notch performance. Clearly, a lot is at stake.
Visit Ireland’s leading independent bookmakers Boylesports for all the latest GAA betting odds.