Friday 9 December 2016

'I'm sorry that we didn't do quite enough,' Kerry fans told

Published 22/09/2015 | 02:30

Senior player Paul Galvin. Photos: Eamonn Keogh
Senior player Paul Galvin. Photos: Eamonn Keogh
Kerry minor football manager Jack O’Connor with captain Mark O’Connor (Dingle) and the Tom Markham Cup at the homecoming reception at Rathmore Railway Station yesterday.

Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice has apologised to fans for not doing enough to bring home the Sam Maguire for the second year in a row.

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But he said he hoped they'd be back again next year to take possession of Gaelic football's most coveted prize.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed last night that the Lixnaw man will stay on as manager of the senior football team for another year. His three-year term had been due to run out this year.

A crowd of around 2,000 Kerry supporters braved the rain in Tralee last night to show their appreciation for their county teams.

And even though disappointment was etched on the faces of the senior squad, they were anxious to stay in the background and allow the Kerry minors have their time in the limelight.

Led by man of the match Mark O'Connor, the minors' victory was applauded as they brought home the Tom Markham Cup for the second year in a row, having comprehensively beaten Tipperary by 4-14 to six points in Sunday's final.

The first stop was Rathmore, where around 400 supporters turned out to welcome home nearby Gneeveguilla's Darren Brosnan from the minor team and local heroes Paul Murphy and Aidan O'Mahony.

Minor manager Jack O'Connor said seeing the turnout, certainly lifted the spirits of the defeated heroes and he should know. He was in that position in 2011 when he managed the senior team that was beaten by Dublin in the senior final.

But Fitzmaurice was also appreciative of the effort of the fans in turning out.

He told them: "It gets more real and more raw the closer you get to Kerry. I'm sorry that we didn't quite do enough yesterday.

"But there's a brilliant bunch of players here and I'm very proud of all the lads. They're great ambassadors and brilliant guys and it was good to get back to the final but we couldn't quite finish it off.

"But I'm very proud of the lads and it was a privilege to work with them."

Kieran Donaghy was philosophical in defeat.

"We've been here before but they were better than us on the day," he said.

"We performed better in the final last year and we won and this year they won and that's the way it goes.

"When you're lucky enough to play in a final you have to just perform and unfortunately we didn't."

He also moved to dispel controversy over an incident on the field of play with Dublin's Philly McMahon.

He said: "What happens on the field stays on the field. That's the way I've always played it and I wouldn't have anything else to say on it except it's between the 30 guys who go to battle.

"We were a small bit unlucky but fellas have to come back stronger and that's what football is about. We have to learn from the tough days as well as the good days and we'll be back with God's help."

He said he wouldn't be carrying anything into next year.

Irish Independent

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