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O'Mahony has high hopes for championship

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Aidan O’Mahony was on hand to launch National Fitness Day which will take place on September 24. For details visit nationalfitnessday.ie

Aidan O’Mahony was on hand to launch National Fitness Day which will take place on September 24. For details visit nationalfitnessday.ie

�INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Aidan O’Mahony was on hand to launch National Fitness Day which will take place on September 24. For details visit nationalfitnessday.ie

Like most people, Aidan O'Mahony had given up on an inter-county season. But with many county boards within touching distance of completing their program of games, his hopes are growing that despite everything, we could yet see a championship.

"If you asked me in April or May I probably would have said no. Now I think we will," O'Mahony said at the launch of the fifth annual National Fitness Day.

"I just think we have to get back to some sort of normality, I suppose from my side of it looking at the GAA, there is a lot of talk about mental health and I know you have to talk about the health of the country as well, but the GAA is a massive part of the country and communities.

"I just think that we have to kind of push on. I'm not an expert, if there's another lockdown it'll be thrown up in the air but at the moment I'm very hopeful that it will go ahead."

Kerry travel to Monaghan and welcome Donegal to Tralee in their remaining league matches before they face Cork on the weekend of November 7/8. And while he expects Cork to give the Kingdom a stern examination, he believes the experience of last year's All-Ireland finals will stand to Peter Keane's young side.

"The first game, looking back at it after the replay, it was probably a game that was left after us. The younger lads, Sean O'Shea, Diarmaid O'Connor, and David Clifford, these guys really stood up last year. They got that kind of bit between the teeth where they knew they could live with Dublin for the next couple of years.

"And with the likes of David Moran and these guys still playing fantastic football I think it was very positive going into January. The league was … they had some big wins, the Galway win at home probably showed the difference from Kerry from the last few years where that game was gone from Kerry but they came back and won it at the death."

It will be a very different sort of championship. Most or all of it will be played behind closed doors. The All-Ireland finals are scheduled the run in to Christmas. And there's a chance it could all be decided on penalties.

"The year that's in it, there are so many uncertainties. I'll just take the championship being back. If it comes down to a penalty shoot-out you'd be saying, 'isn't he a brave boy taking a penalty, All-Ireland final day.' Obviously they're well able now, a different generation.

"It makes the game exciting. The last day up in Antrim, the game was decided by penalties. Look, you'd take a guy's hand off just to be playing football. If it has to finish on penalties, then so be it. It will be something we'll be talking about in years to come, if the championship goes ahead."