Former Footballer of the Year James O’Donoghue steps away from Kerry panel

James O’Donoghue of Kerry challenged by Eamonn Brannigan of Galway (Image: ©INPHO/Keith Wiseman)

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JAMES O’Donoghue has left the Kerry squad ahead of Sunday’s Munster final encounter with Cork at Fitzgerald Stadium.

The 2014 Footballer of the Year hasn’t got a look in this year as Kerry boss Peter Keane has looked to settle his side for the biggest tests of the year.

O'Donoghue (31) didn't feature in a weekend A versus B in-house game, and hadn't made a Kerry matchday 26 this year.

Kerry Chairman, Tim Murphy confirmed that the Killarney Legion club man is no longer in the Kerry squad and he isn’t anticipating the player will return before the end of the Championship.

“To be fair to Peter Keane, this probably happened post Friday’s media briefing during which the Kerry manager had indicated that James was battling for a place in the match day 26,” said Murphy.

“James indicated that he wanted to take some time out from the Kerry setup and play some club football to see could he get some form back and see where that would take him.

James O'Donoghue of Kerry
(Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie)

“It probably means that he will not be involved if we beat Cork because we have a very short window with everything to be completed within 4/5 weeks if Kerry does go all the way.”

O'Donoghue lined out for Legion in the county league on Saturday evening, scoring the opening goal in a win over Kenmare Shamrocks.

He finished the game with a total of 1-2, but only played the first half of the game.

O'Donoghue's last game for Kerry was against Galway in the league back in February 2020 when he scored 0-2 in the opening half before retiring at half time.

O’Donoghue also played in the opening league game of 2020 against Dublin when he scored 0-3 before being replaced by Killian Spillane in the 50th minute.

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Mainly due to injury O’Donoghue has managed to play only 85 minutes of football for Kerry in two seasons.

It appears O'Donoghue is close to calling time on his intercounty career which has been plagued by injuries over the past number of years.

O'Donoghue informed the Kerry management of his decision to take some time out on Saturday last.

He holds one All-Ireland, two All-Stars and eight Munster Championships and was once the most feared forward in the country.

Kerry Chairman, Murphy also confirmed that Dara Moynihan is rated as extremely doubtful for Sunday's Munster final but Tony Brosnan is fully fit.

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