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Murphy: Tommy Walsh and Colm Cooper will improve Kerry

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Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy

WITH reports yesterday that Tommy Walsh could make his return to the Kerry team as soon as the All-Ireland champion's McGrath Cup fixture against IT Tralee on the second weekend of January, the Kingdom's 2014 Sam Maguire coup is sure to be celebrated beyond Christmas and into the new season, writes Conor McKeon.

The equation looks simple.

Take one All-Ireland winning team, minus the retired Declan O'Sullivan but add back in Walsh and Colm Cooper and you arrive at a sleeker version of the Kerry team in 2015.

Throw in the fact that Marc Ó See has recommitted to the cause and Eamonn Fitzmaurice can enjoy his festive period as much in anticipation as reflection.

"It has to be a help," admit this year's All-Ireland final Man of the Match, Paul Murphy (pictured above).

"Colm was involved with us this year.

"Not in a playing capacity but he was involved in the training and he has a great head for the game. He gives great advice and having him around was a huge help.

"What he adds to it next year will be mainly in a playing capacity whereas you could imagine Tommy could add a lot more than just that.

professional

"He was a great prospect and player when he left so five years as a professional you would imagine would bring him on again.

"Having been involved in two professional teams," Murphy adds, "he will have picked up things that we can take off him and hopefully that will bring on other players as well.

"Not just through his footballing ability but his knowledge of recovery and things like that.

"Having Colm back as well will be huge. He had a massive season in 2013 and did very well with his club all through last winter and he was just unfortunate with the injury so I'm sure he'll be ready for road again."

Murphy, from the Rathmore club, arrived into Kerry's setup roughly a year ago brandishing no great underage pedigree and harbouring only modest ambitions for his first year at senior level.

By the end of the season, he was Championship starter, an All-Ireland medallist and an All Star.

"About this time last year I joined the panel and my personal goal was to get a bit of game-time in the league and be in the 26 for the championship.," he admits.

"When I played in the McGrath Cup we had a few injuries, Killian (Young) was out and he did not come back until a few games into the league so I suppose the door opened coming from the McGrath Cup into the league.

"I played against Dublin in the league and once you have your foot in the door you want to hold onto the jersey and luckily enough things fell for me after that.

"I completely satisfied my goal, I suppose."


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