Kerry's Aidan O'Mahony announces his retirement from inter county football
Kerry defender Aidan O'Mahony has called time on his inter county career.
The five-time All Ireland winner made the announcement today when he issued a statement via the Kerry website.
O'Mahony (36), who is currently participating in RTE's Dancing With The Stars, made his Kerry debut in 2004 and played 70 Championship and 85 League games with the Kingdom.
"Today I would like to announce my retirement. I feel the time is now appropriate for me to step away from the Kerry team," he said.
"It’s been an absolute honour for me to wear the green and gold jersey for Kerry for the past 14 years at senior level and I leave having great respect for all the talented players I have shared my footballing career with. I am extremely grateful for all the support my teammates gave me down through the years and I have made friendships for life.
"I have been incredibly fortunate to represent my Club (Rathmore), County, Province and Country over the years. It was an honour to share the dressing room with such brilliant players throughout the last 14 years with Kerry. I have utmost respect for every player whom I have played against as we all put on our county colours with a common goal in mind.
"I would like to thank the managers whom I have trained under with Kerry from Minor and Under 21 to Senior level. I will be forever appreciative for the belief you have all shown in me.
"Thanks to the Kerry supporters who travel far and wide every year for both League and Championship.
"I would like to thank An Garda Sióchana for their consistent support in facilitating my involvement with the Kerry team.
"Finally, I would like to thank my family for their encouragement and ongoing support over the years.
"Today is the beginning of something new!!!"
Kerry boss Eamon Fitzmaurice paid a glowing tribute to the 36-year-old.
"On behalf of the management and players I would like to congratulate Aidan O’Mahony on his retirement from the Kerry senior football team," said Fitzmaurice.
"Aidan was an incredible servant to Kerry and gave everything he had to the cause over a career that stretches back to the 2003 season when he was first brought into the squad by Paidí (Ó Sé). He was ferociously proud of representing Kerry and this was clear every time he put on the Green and Gold.
"When Jack (O’Connor) took over in 2004 Aidan got his opportunity early in the League and he did not leave go of that jersey afterwards. He ended up winning the first of 5 All Ireland medals the following September.
"He has won it all in terms of individual and collective honours. Over the years he has played in every defensive position for Kerry and performed every role to distinction from man marker to attacking half back, from a holding centre back to a sweeper in recent years. He was the ultimate pro in terms of the way he prepared himself for training and matches on and off the field.
"He led by example and was a driving force in the gym and on the pitch. He took pride in excelling at any physical work. Throughout his career he defied western medicine when returning from injury. He pushed himself to the limit and beyond to get back as quickly as possible. For the medical team trying to hold him back as he fought to return to play was like trying to keep the tide out.
"His leadership was of particular importance in the last few years as a lot of younger players have been integrated into the panel. He passed on the baton and helped these players to understand what it means to be a Kerry footballer. Honesty underpinned everything he did and his selflessness manifested itself in the way he was happy to advise and encourage everyone, even the players he was in direct competition with for a position; a rarity. He personified leaving the jersey in a better place.
"Aidan was a warrior for Kerry right up until the last minute of his last game for Kerry last August. I wish him and Denise all the best for the future."
Aidan O’Mahony Profile
Weight: 13 stone
Championship Debut: V Clare 2004
Championship Appearances: 70
Championship Scores: 0-11
1st League game for Kerry: V Cork 2004
League Appearances: 85 (Scored 1-9)
U21 experience with Kerry: 2001
5 All Ireland Senior Football 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014.
3 National League Medals 2004, 2006, 2009.
8 Munster Senior Football Championships 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
1 County U21 Football Championship 1999.
1 County Intermediate Championship 1999.
1 County Junior Championship 1998.
1 Kerry Club Championship 2011
2 All Star Awards 2006,2007.