Kerry will host Roscommon in round two next weekend
Kerry and Dublin renewed their ongoing rivalry last night in Croke Park with the boys in blue scalping a comprehensive victory on the first day of the League.
This was an opportunity for Kerry to enact some revenge on Dublin after relinquishing their grip on Sam Maguire last September but they waned in the second half while Jim Gavin's progressed into a higher gear and won on a scoreline of 2-14 to 0-14.
In recent years, Kerry have cultivated a dismal record in the league. They scored just three wins in each of the last three League campaigns and were fortunate to avoid relegation last year. But once again, Kerry failed to launch their league campaign on a winning note.
Speaking after the game, Kerry boss Éamonn Fitzmaurice told Newstalk's Dave McIntyre that he was disappointed with his side's performance and emphasised the need to improve in the coming weeks if they are to improve on their form in Division 1.
''Our attitude wasn't where it needed to be. That determination that you'd expect to be visible and that heart just wasn't there, particularly when we played so poorly in the All-Ireland final. There were flashes of desire but the consistency isn't there yet.''
Kerry go into this League without a number of their key players. They have been hit with some injuries of late with James O'Donoghue nursing a persistent shoulder injury while Colm Cooper is also grappling with shoulder trouble. Kieran Donaghy was preoccupied with Basketball duties yesterday while veteran defender Marc Ó Sé is taking an extended break and will rejoin the Kerry fold in due course.
But Fitzmaurice pointed out that the replacements have a duty to maintain Kerry's high standards in the absence of their leaders.
''We have a strong squad and of course there are big names that will help us strengthen things but the lads that are there are part of a Kerry squad and there are responsibilities that go with that so there will be a few lads feeling disappointed tonight.''
Meanwhile, Dublin's Paddy Andrews fired 1-4 from play as Dublin broke their taboo of shaky starts to the National League. Jim Gavin admitted that he's pleased to have such a reliable spread of forwards to choose from but knows there are still improvements to be made.
''Out there tonight, there were some phases of very good play and some phases of play that we need to improve on as the League goes on. Having so many strong forwards is a good complaint to have and the lads know that my philosophy and the management's philosophy is that the team is picked purely based on form. The lads applying themselves on and off the field will get the slots.''