Tuesday 17 September 2019

Keane: It'd be a lot worse to be going out of here having lost, wouldn't it?

Dublin manager Jim Gavin and Kerry boss Peter Keane shake hands after yesterday’s draw at Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin and Kerry boss Peter Keane shake hands after yesterday’s draw at Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

In private, Peter Keane may feel differently but, in the immediate aftermath of an absorbing All-Ireland final, he was very much 'glass half-full' about his young Kerry team's failure to kill off opponents they had by the throat.

Dublin were dangling over the cliff-edge with four minutes remaining when Killian Spillane sent Kerry back in front.

Between those four minutes and the eight that referee David Gough allowed the game to stretch to, Kerry didn't score again as the pressure of delivery, that had weighed heavily on Dublin for much of the second half, caught up with them too.

But for Keane it was an experience which, he feels, will stand to them.

Opportunity

"I wouldn't say it's an opportunity missed. At the end of the day, we weren't in an All-Ireland final since 2015," he said.

"You've a young team. What are they going to get only experience out of the game. In terms of a learning curve, I said all year we're on a crash course with (that) and this is only helping it."

If there was satisfaction that they had bucked the odds and weight of public opinion against them, he didn't see it as a factor.

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He added: "While you might read a lot into yourselves (media), we wouldn't read a lot into what you're thinking. We wouldn't put a whole pile of emphasis on that.

"We're just thinking about ourselves. Did we think we had a chance coming here today? Sure, of course. If you've two dogs in any race, one of the dogs might get a heart attack and the other fella will walk home. You've a chance every time you're out there."

A desire to halt the five-in-a-row wasn't central to their thinking either, he insisted.

"Some guys think about this using motivation but look, at the end of the day, it's a Kerry team, you're a Kerry player, you're kicking ball against the gable of a wall since you're knee-high.

"You want to play on a day like this, you feel you're born for this, to get up to Croke Park. Like I said, we hadn't been here since 2015 so you want to be here on these days and we'll get a second bite at it. It'd be a lot worse to be going out of here having lost, wouldn't it?"

Pressed on the number of goal chances that were denied by Dublin, he maintained the veneer of optimism.

"I suppose if you're looking at the glass half-empty you could think like that but we're not looking at the glass half-empty. You're creating chances and if you're creating chances another one will come. Keep rattling away and something will come out of it."

Keane was also satisfied with the impact they got off the bench from Tommy Walsh and Killian Spillane especially.

"I think we got a good bounce out of our subs, and Tommy was one of those guys. What did he do? He had two shots. He scored one, missed one but he set up another one, so he had a good day."

As to whether James O'Donoghue, who wasn't part of the 26, would be available the next day, Keane couldn't confirm.

Irish Independent

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