Friday 19 January 2018

‘I’m glad to be back’ – Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy reveals hunger to add another All-Ireland medal

Kieran Donaghy
Kieran Donaghy
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Kieran Donaghy has admitted that he considered retiring from inter-county football following last year’s All-Ireland Final defeat, but says the hunger is back for another season in Kerry colours.

With four All-Ireland successes, the 32-year-old considered calling time on an 11-year career with the Kingdom, but the towering forward believes the appetite is there for another tilt at Sam Maguire.

The Austin Stacks man is looking forward to the National League opener against rivals Dublin, and while he admits it is now a “young man’s game”, the three-time All-Star is keen to get the season underway.

"Coming off this field last year after the All-Ireland... When you're 32, you have to weigh things up," he said, speaking at the launch of this year's National League at Croke Park.

"The amount that goes into the game now and what you have to do with your life to make sure that you're giving the team the full commitment, an inter-county set-up is serious now.

"To do it for a 12th season was something that I would have looked at the start of last year but as soon as the year finished I got straight back into it with the club and played a few months of basketball.

"The hunger comes back into you and the conversations that were happening in late September were different to the ones that were happening in early January.

Donaghy was part of Eamon Fitzmaurice’s side that was defeated by Dublin last September and says Saturday’s match against Jim Gavin’s all-conquering Dubs – they are bidding for a fourth successive National League title – will be the ideal start for 2016.

"Revenge might be the wrong word but [Kerry will] definitely try to get a good result and start our league the way we want to," he said. "It would be nice to beat Dublin in Croke Park.

"We don't like the record over the last few years but it's something that comes and goes over the generations.

"The constant thing in that great rivalry is the ups and downs between Kerry and Dublin. We're lucky to have been a part of it in recent years. It's the country boys versus the city boys."

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