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Outstanding Ó Sé calls it a day

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Tomas Ó Sé lifts the Sam Maguire cup in 2009. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Tomas Ó Sé lifts the Sam Maguire cup in 2009. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Tomas Ó Sé lifts the Sam Maguire cup in 2009. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

GAELIC football's greatest half-back of the modern era has retired against a backdrop of superlative tributes from Kerry and beyond. But Tomás Ó Sé still looks back on his swansong summer - and specifically the semi-final defeat to Dublin - as one that got away.

The Kerry veteran - whose 16-season senior odyssey yielded five All-Ireland medals, three National Leagues, nine Munster titles, five All-Stars, one Texaco Footballer of the Year award and a record 88 championship appearances - announced his retirement on Raidió na Gaeltachta yesterday.

In an interview with former Kerry colleague Dara Ó Cinnéide, the 35-year-old An Ghaeltacht clubman reflected on 2013 as a lost opportunity and felt the defeat to Dublin came down to the smallest of things.

"In a way I feel that we, the players, let Eamonn Fitzmaurice and the management down on the day, as they had every base covered," he admitted. "And that upsets me given the work that everybody involved had put in."

Ó Sé regards his late uncle Páidí as "the best manager I ever saw in a dressing-room, who was loved and revered in equal measure by the players."

While he admitted to not always seeing eye to eye with Jack O'Connor, he held Páidí's successor in the highest regard "for his reconstruction of an entire group of players and for never being afraid to make the hard decisions."

Meanwhile, Irish International Rules team manager Paul Earley has confirmed Michael Murphy as team captain for the upcoming series tests against Australia.

The 2012 Donegal All-Ireland winning captain will lead Ireland's campaign in both Cavan on October 19 and seven days later at Croke Park as the hosts look to retain the Cormac McAnallen Cup won in Australia two years ago.


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