Marc Ó Sé says that the "early signs are positive for Kerry" in the new season, and that the Kingdom will win the All-Ireland this year.
The five-time All-Ireland winner also thinks Kerry should have won the All-Ireland title last year. They fell short in the semi-final, losing by a point after extra-time to eventual champions Tyrone
On Sunday, Kerry face Kildare in the opening round of the National League at St Conleths Park in Newbridge.
"16 days in January saw them absolutely wallop Limerick, Tipperary, and Cork by a combined score of 55 points," said Ó Sé, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes.
"Jack O’Connor has put out strong teams and this will be no different. Jack can definitely expect a hostile reception considering how he left Kildare. That said, he left them in a far healthier place than when he took charge. Getting Kildare to Division 1 and to a Leinster Final is great going.
'Kerry will win Sam'
"Kildare have a new management. Glen Ryan is in charge who is a huge stalwart of Kildare and the backroom team that he’s brought with him is real royalty. He has Anthony Rainbow who has huge experience in club management, and then there’s Johnny Doyle, Dermot Earley, and of course the Kerryman, Paul Galvin, who is now the forwards coach. So there is huge experience there. I think there will be a freshness to Kildare with the likes of Daniel Flynn, Jimmy Hyland, Darragh Kirwan - all quality players.
"That said, I still can’t see anything other than a comfortable win for Kerry. Considering you have the likes of Paul Geaney now playing in his preferred inside role and then you have Tony Brosnan and Killian Spillane all looking for starting positions. The competition is going to be huge.
"I know they have been back to training early, and although it is away from home, I think it will be a comfortable result for them. I can see Kildare putting it up to Kerry for the first 40-50 mins, but Kerry should pull away after 50 mins. I am going for Kerry to cover the seven-point handicap at around even money. That is my pick of the weekend."
Ó Sé adds that Kerry are his "early favourites" to win Sam Maguire in 2022.
"I think Kerry will win Sam and I will put my head on the guillotine here and say I believe they should have won the All Ireland last year," he says.
"Now there are a lot of ifs in my reasoning, but if David Moran hadn’t got injured, and if David Clifford, their best player, didn’t get the cramp, those two players alone would have got Kerry over the line against Tyrone. It was the All Ireland semi-final, it went to extra-time, and went down to the wire. It is these little margins that get you over the line or don’t. Unfortunately for Kerry it didn’t. With Jack O’Connor in and with the few new players coming into the set up, they are my early favourites."
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