Friday 21 October 2016

Ex-Dublin stars hit back at Kerry captain's 'disrespectful' comments about how Dublin 'stole' the All-Ireland

Published 25/08/2016 | 19:57

Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan's claim that Dublin 'stole' the 2011 All-Ireland title from the Kingdom has drawn the ire of some legendary players from the capital.

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Master free taker Sheehan, whose potential role in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final clash against Jim Gavin's men has been widely discussed, was asked about Dublin's recent victories over Kerry and spoke honestly to the Irish Independent yesterday.

"In 2011, I felt we were the better team. I'll go on record - they stole that one off us. We let it slip through our hands; 2013 I thought was probably one of the best games of football ever played. It came down to (Kevin McManamon) going for a point more so than a goal. Just slipped in. They won it. Then I think 2015 we just didn't perform to our capabilities. So I think we're more than capable of beating Dublin. Fear is not an issue."

Read more: 'I'll go on record...Dublin stole Sam Maguire off us in 2011' - Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan

The remarks were always going to draw a strong reaction from Dublin supporters but two former players have also weighed in. Alan Brogan, who won Player of the Year after the 2011 final, tweeted that Sheehan's assessment of that game was 'slightly disrespectful' of his team.

Legendary Dublin hardman Vinny Murphy, who scored a memorable goal against Kerry in the drawn quarter-final in Thurles in 2001, is of a similar mind.

"I thought it could have been a more considered response from a Kerry captain," Murphy told

"Whatever people might feel in private, when you are playing at that level it is not something that you should put out in the public domain.

"Kerry didn't put Dublin away in 2011 and it came back to bite them.

"To turn around and say that Dublin stole one in 2011, that they were lucky in 2013 and Kerry just didn't perform [in 2015], that isn't giving any credit to Dublin."

"He is Kerry captain, he has been struggling to get on the team all year so there could be a bit of frustration there or whether the Kerry management put him up to it, I don't know. It wasn't very well considered."

However, despite the consternation amongst a cohort of ex-players, Murphy feels that Gavin's charges won't let any media build-up impact their preparation ahead of Sunday's showdown with Kerry.

"Not one jot," Murphy said when asked if Sheehan's comments might throw Dublin in any way.

"This current Dublin team is oblivious to all that. The likes of [Stephen] Cluxton, he will remember the dark old days and there are enough of them there to remember that you play in the now. They are just getting their preparation right rather than focusing on what is being said."

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