THOMAS Ashe (84), one of the few surviving members of the victorious Dingle team who claimed the county championship in 1948, is eagerly anticipating this Sunday's county final which will see Dingle back in the fray after a 61-year hiatus.
For Thomas, whose father was the first cousin of Kerry patriot Tomás Ághas, Colm 'Gooch' Cooper could very well prove to be Dingle's "stumbling block".
"They need to contain him early on," Thomas, a multiple All-Ireland medal holder, told The Kerryman this week.
Reflecting on the last time Dingle won a county championship back in 1948, when they beat Shannon Rangers 2-10 to 0-5, Thomas paid tribute to his team-mates.
"We had a very good team back in 1948; lads like Ned Fitzgerald, Paddy Bawn Brosnan, Denis O'Connor, Tim Brosnan, Tommy O'Sullivan, Bill Casey from Lispole, Larry O'Connor, Tom Flaherty from Ballyferriter, Jackie Fitzgerald, Tom 'Gega' O'Connor, Tommy Sheehy, Bill Dillon, Paudie Sheehy and Tom Long, our captain."
Thomas lined out in midfield for Dingle against the Dick Fitzgeralds in 1951 in what was to be Dingle's last appearance in a county championship final for 61 years. It is a position he retained for Dingle and for Kerry bar the senior All-Ireland final in 1953 when, wearing number 13, he assumed the position of right corner forward for his county.
"There were a lot of good footballers around at that time but it was a different game, back then it was all about man-marking and compared to the way we used to play, these days there is a lot more hand-passing. Catch and kick, high fielding, seems to be gone."
Thomas cites Bryan Sheehan as an example of how the Kerry teams of yore used to play.
"He is very good in midfield and plays like the old Kerry teams."
Dingle's return to the county final is a great source of pride to Thomas and he will be glued to the radio this Sunday.
"I was there when we last won 64 years ago and when we last played in the final 61 years ago, it'd be great if they could do it in 2012," he said. "In Dingle, back in those days, football was everything. We had no televisions, all that mattered was football and we'd go up to the sportsfield for two hours every evening kicking the ball around . . . and it paid off!"
With Thomas's 85th birthday on the horizon, he is in high spirits.
"I broke my right ankle twice playing football and blew out my right knee; I don't get around as much as I used to but I can still drink a pint and that's all that matters!"
Perhaps Thomas will be once again able to toast a Dingle victory after the county final this Sunday.