Keane delight as difficult campaign yields the sweetest victory of them all

Jason O'Connor

Not many can they say they have managed All-Ireland winning sides at club and county level regardless of the standard, but Jimmy Keane has joined that particular group after following on from Brosna's All-Ireland Junior Club success of 2015 in Portlaoise last Saturday.

He agreed that Kerry's third consecutive All-Ireland title at this level owed much to the nature of their Munster Final win over Cork.

"Cork really was the milestone for us. We said it in the dressing room beforehand that it would be a shame to let everything we did that night in how we won it slip away with a defeat here today.

"We knew we were never going to dominate Meath, they are a solid outfit at inter-county level and we encouraged the lads to remember how they coped in the Cork game for when they would come at us today," the Kerry Junior boss said.

While some would feel that Conor Cox's goal was down to luck, Keane felt that it was down to hard work.

"We impressed upon the lads the need to pressure their kick-outs and Conor did that brilliantly and that goal was as much down to what he did as opposed to a mistake from their goalkeeper. Conor is a great talent and has a great attitude about being involved in the Juniors.

"He would make a lot of senior teams in other counties with the ability he has."

Goalkeeper Tomas Mac an tSaoir also came in for strong praise from the Kerry Junior boss.

"Personally I think he is as good as what's out there in the county in terms of goalkeepers and he has shown it all throughout the campaign."

There was a strong sense of satisfaction as a management team with what Kerry had achieved despite all the difficulties that there can be at this level.

"It's nothing but obstacles being truthful, but you have to find your way around them and not use them as excuses if you don't succeed. You have to drive on with what you have and we've done that very well.

"I'm very happy with Niall [O'Mahony], Paul [Quinn] and John [O'Connell] and the work they have put in as selectors. I would easily say that Niall has done the most work of any of us with the amount of physical training that he did and helping the players through all the recovery they had to do before games."

Kerryman

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