TO quote a Kerry legend Eoin 'The Bomber' Liston: "the only thing you can control in a match is the effort you put in."
Next Sunday sees the culmination of eight months of training all boil down to 60 minutes. That will define this team's season. From the sand dunes of Banna in freezing cold January, to September sunshine and the ultimate prize of an All Ireland medal glistening in your hand, that is what drives this panel and their mentors. Few would have thought it possible that a team in their first year of competitive action would see an appearance in a final as normal, acceptable and achieveable.
Well clearly, nobody told this bunch of girls such things were only for the experienced campaigners, the hardened players, the so called 'traditional counties'. Kerry is a county steeped in GAA, and so Camogie joins the family at the table of All Ireland participants. So who is this Kerry team and where do they come from, and how did they get to an All Ireland Final so quickly? Well, you have to back to go forward.
Twelve months ago as part of the strategic plan from Croke Park, the County Board set about forming an adult club team. Not one but two clubs were formed and from these two clubs (Clanmaurice and Lixnaw) come the majority of the players.
Helped in no small way by three up and coming minor stars from Causeway, the panel now represent the hurling clubs of North Kerry with Killarney also in the mix.
Names like, Corridan, Godley, Mackessy, Leen, and Leahy are hurling to the core and like their brothers and fathers it was a natural progression for them to pick up the hurley and master it. However, having the basics is one thing, being able to hurl toe to toe with your opponent is another. Coaching is important, good coaching is vital to the nurturing of players to this level, and the mentors involved must be given credit for their commitment and belief in this squad.
Richard Keane, Liam Young, Pete Young and Butch Fealy have been immersed in GAA since childhood. Playing with their clubs, and now passing on the tricks of the trade is key to their success. Do they get excited? Yes, Passionate? Definitely. Do they want success? Without question.
The team are as well prepared as any team that ever left the county. They have, and will continue to represent themselves, their parish, and Kerry as they have done all year. The majority of this panel were given the County Jersey for the first time in July 2012.
We hope they will also receive their first All Ireland medal in this code on September 2. Our thanks to the GAA County Board for accommodating the fixture change in the Senior Hurling Championship weekend, so as to avoid a clash between the games, and also for their kind gesture of a set of jerseys to mark the final, to the team.