Saturday 24 February 2018

Promise of centre-back role stopped me hanging up boots earlier – Galvin

Paul Galvin
Paul Galvin
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Paul Galvin was only tempted away from announcing his retirement much earlier by an opportunity to play for Kerry at centre-back, he has revealed.

Galvin said he had intended to walk away from the inter-county game after last season, but following a conversation with team manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice he stayed on to re-focus on his potential new role.

However, in the end commitments with work through his website and a greater part of his life being spent in Dublin made it too difficult for him to produce the intense effort required to continue playing inter-county football with the Kingdom.


"It was going pretty well and I was happy there. It was being tried, there were no guarantees but I had been going well there," he said of the switch to centre-back.

"It was just proving too difficult in terms of work really. There comes a time when you have to consider other people (business associates), other things in your life as well.

"I was (considering retiring) last year but I had a chat with Eamonn and he brought up that centre-back option and it was something I was keen on.

"Half-back was where I always felt most comfortable playing. But it proved a bit of a stretch with work stuff, I was just a bit too busy.

"I felt the time had come to consider these people and other people in my personal life. That deserves a bit more time."

At 34, Galvin said he felt he could still last the pace of a game that appears to quicken with each passing year.

"I don't think it (age) was a factor. With work I just found that I hadn't the time to give Kerry the full commitment," he said.

"I've always been one to move on and try things out."

Galvin (pictured below) paid tribute to his previous manager Jack O'Connor but interestingly suggested that 2009, the year he was voted Footballer of the Year, was not his best.

He also reflected on the adjustments he made to his game over the years and felt that had he continued to play football in the way he had started out in 2004, his debut year with Kerry, he wouldn't have lasted the pace.

"I was all or nothing in the way I went about it. I had to change tack along the way. You have to be smart to stay ahead of the game.

"There are lots of different ways to play football. If I kept going the way I was going from 2004 onwards, I would have burned out and finished up pretty early. I had to rethink things and I did.

"I probably played a different type of football later in my career," he said.

He admitted playing football made a "man" of him and reflected on how he managed to deal with any criticism that came his way.

"I learned an amount from it, I experienced an amount from it. You become a man out of it really and I am grateful for that.

"Players are scrutinised now more than ever. You have to let it run off you at times.

"There were times when I didn't. I had my say privately if I had to, if I needed to address people who had written stuff that was untrue abut me. I did that, I had no bother doing it and that was the way I operated.

"I moved on from it quickly but players today are scrutinised to a level that they never have been before."

Galvin was one of the pioneers of the role of the modern-day wing-forward who routinely covered huge ground and tracked back to fufil defensive duties for his team when the need arose.

The focus of that role will now be Jonathan Lyne, who was being earmarked for a similar duty last year before he badly injured an ankle, forcing him out for most of the summer.

Galvin's departure strips away more experience from the Kerry team with Marc O Se, at 33, now the elder statesman in Fitmaurice's squad.

Irish Independent

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