Jack O’Connor gives defender ultimatum

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Updated: February 21, 2011

Kerry manager, Jack O’ Connor has said that if Tom O’Sullivan does not return to training by the first week in March he risks not being considered for a place on the kingdoms panel this year.

A report in todays Irish Examiner says that O’Connor met with the 32-year-old defender last week but the latter has not yet made a decision about his inter-county future.

O’Connor yesterday gave O’Sullivan an ultimatum, return to camp after the Dublin game or forget about it.

“Tom is one of these fellows that is a laid-back kind of a lad and he will make up his own mind,” said the manager. “But he would want to be making it up fairly sharp now because time is moving on. I would say if he is not back the week after the Dublin game, he won’t be back.”

O’Sullivan made his debut for the Kerry Seniors against Cork in the 1999 National Football League. His Munster Senior Football Championship debut came in 2000, against Cork. O’Sullivan has won the Munster Senior Football Championship six times.

He has won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship with Kerry on five occasions in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Tom won GAA All Stars Awards for his performances in 2000, 2004, 2005 and in 2009. He also picked up two National Football League medals for Kerry in 2004, 2006 and 2009.

O’Sullivan was known primarily as a corner-back, but has had to move to full-back since the retirement of Mike McCarthy. He coped very well in the early stages of the championship, being described as ‘soundness personified at full back’.

However, he struggled at times in the Munster final against Michael Cussen of Cork and in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Vincent Corey of Monaghan. Nevertheless, the year ended well for O’Sullivan, as Kerry beat Cork by 3-13 to 1-9 in the All-Ireland Final.

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