Sunday 28 May 2017

Murphy backs Kealy to shine

FORMER Kerry goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy has no regrets about walking away from the Kingdom set-up even as Jack O'Connor's side prepare for an All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park on the August Bank Holiday weekend, WRITES DONNCHADH BOYLE.

"I had my mind made up during the course of last season that 2009 was going to be my last year so I was happy with my decision at the end of the year. Thanks be to God it worked out great for us at the finish but I had my mind made up from a fair bit out," said Murphy, who was speaking at the launch of 'Slí an Bháireora' -- or 'Way of the Goalkeeper', a coaching DVD aimed at goalkeepers that features Irish narration.

Murphy left the panel in the wake of last year's All-Ireland final success along with Tadhg Kennelly, Darragh O Se and Tommy Walsh, while Jack O'Connor also has to cope without the suspended pair Paul Galvin and Tomas O Se for their last-eight tie.

However, Murphy says he can see some of Kerry's fringe panellists making an impact in their next outing.

"Tomas and Paul would be two of the most experienced players on the team and two of the better players as well. There is no point saying they aren't going to be a big loss because they are, regardless of who Kerry are playing in the next round.

"But the thing is that it is going to give somebody else the chance to come in and do their stuff and maybe hammer down their place if Kerry do win."

Kilcummin man Brendan Kealy has been elevated to Kerry's first-choice 'keeper despite not being part of the panel last year and Murphy has been impressed with how Kealy has made the progression to the senior inter-county championship.

"I think Brendan has done very well so far. It's not easy to come in there. He wasn't even on the panel last year and to come straight on to the first team is tough and, all things considering, he has done very well so far."

Irish Independent

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