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Former footballer of the year...
Football

Former footballer of the year James O'Donoghue departs Kerry panel

James O'Donoghue has left the Kerry panel. 

The 2014 All Star Footballer of the Year has seen his influence on the Kingdom squad diminished by injury in recent years.

O'Donoghue made his decision to step back from inter-county action at the weekend, opting instead to focus his attentions on his club, Killarney Legion.

The news comes five days before Kerry are due to play Cork in Sunday's Munster senior football final.

"To be fair to Peter Keane, this probably happened post-Friday’s media briefing,” senior team liaison Tim Murphy is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.

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

“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 broke into the Kerry senior side as a fresh-faced 19-year old, making two substitute appearances during their 2010 league campaign.

His first Championship start came in a 2-10 to 1-12 qualifier win over Westmeath in 2012, and from their on there was no budging him from the full-forward line.

O'Donoghue won his first All Star in 2013, and then again the following year when he was also crowned Footballer of the Year for his role in Kerry's lifting of the Sam Maguire.

However, things began to sputter in 2015 when he required surgery on both shoulders. Back problems and other minor injuries have pockmarked his route back to the senior Kerry side.

O'Donoghue's last appearance in a Kerry jersey came in a league outing against Galway in February 2020.

Meanwhile, it's been confirmed that 2,500 spectators will be allowed to attend Sunday's Munster final at Killarney's Fitzgerald Stadium.

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