Sunday 21 December 2014

Eamonn Fitzmaurice hails Donaghy impact and Kerry character

Published 30/08/2014 | 21:40

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Eamonn Fitzmaurice has hailed the character of his Kerry team in the aftermath of their epic All-Ireland semi-final win over Mayo.

Fitzmaurice also had strong words of praise for Kieran Donaghy who has made such an elemental difference to their play over the last two matches.

Donaghy caused havoc for the Mayo defence, turning back the clock to the days of destruction he enjoyed form 2006 to 2008 when he was the most feared full-forward in the game.

“To be fair to him he created havoc every time the ball went in there, once it was a decent ball," said Donaghy.

"There was a couple of balls in we wouldn’t have been too happy with and one he was given any bit of fair play at all with the delivery he caused an awful lot of problems," he said. 

"I was excited by it when we discussed it during the week because it was a no brainer really to go after the game and see if we could get goals early. 

"It didn’t exactly pan out like that but overall we were pleased."

Kerry fell seven points behind after two Cillian O'Connor goals but they dug deep to really please their manager.

"Over the two days the character and spirit the lads showed was fantastic," he said.

“But, I am hugely proud of the lads, the way they have applied themselves over the last while, all year really.

“The stuff that they have shown in the last six days has been brilliant from my point of view, to see I come out because it is there and I’ve known all along it was there but it’s come out finally.  It’s satisfying definitely."

Colm Cooper took part in the warm up for Kerry beforehand and wore the No 28 jersey but Fitzmaurice remains adamant that it will still be 2015 before he plays a match again, dispelling any faint hope that he could yet play a role in the final.

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