Friday 23 March 2018

Paul Geaney's fighting is exactly what Kerry fans want to hear

Geaney: “I am back to full fitness,” Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Geaney: “I am back to full fitness,” Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kerry star Paul Geaney is "excited" at what the season could hold for both the Kingdom and himself after they secured a fourth Munster title on the bounce on Sunday.

Geaney produced a man of the match performance and brought his Championship tally to 2-8 from two games as the Kingdom powered past Tipperary in Killarney.

Geaney was dogged by back and shoulder injuries in 2015 but causing Tipp's full-back line massive problems on Sunday and declared he is in the "best shape he has ever been in".

"I am back to full fitness," Geaney said. "No niggles, at all. I am excited about the year ahead if I can stay the way I am feeling.

"I am probably in the best shape I have ever been. I have played two games in the Munster Championship and finished the two games, which hasn't always been the case in my Kerry career.

"Up to now, I have been taken off with 10 or 15 minutes to go because I have been carrying injuries or haven't been able to get full fitness.

"So far, I'm delighted with where I am at, personally."

Competition for places in the Kerry forward line will only become more intense after James O'Donoghue made a successful return to action.

The Legion man made his first appearance for Kerry since last year's All-Ireland final last Sunday and helped himself to four points.

"It's brilliant yeah, it's great to see him back," said Dingle clubman Geaney.

"It adds another bit of pace to our attack when he's 100pc. He's only three or four weeks training under his belt and I know from coming back - I came back in the Monaghan game in the League and it still took me another month after that to get fully fit and fully back. It's exciting to have him back."

Kerry head into the All-Ireland series having only faced sides who operated in Division 3 in the spring but Geaney believes their poor performance in last year's decider will motivate his side as they move towards September.

"It is always going to be frustrating for a player to play in an All-Ireland final and not bring your A game," he said of the defeat to Dublin last September.

"And the general feeling within the squad is that we didn't play to our potential so we are trying to go out and give our maximum in every game.

"I don't think we did that (against Tipperary) but we got over the line and we had a cushion in the end, as well.

"We are getting closer. It is about trying to time it right and make sure the graph is moving upward and it is about getting to our (peak), by the end of August and hopefully September.

"It is about delivering our 'A' game on the big day and that is what we are working towards. We are very focused on that.

"We didn't do it last September and it was bitterly disappointing but last year is last year and we are enjoying what we are doing at the moment."

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