'People will appreciate the efforts they have made' - Plenty to look forward to for Kerry, insists legend 'Ogie'
Moran-Walsh 'rugby lift' for late free in drawn game had been cleared by ref Gough
Denis 'Ogie' Moran knows the question is coming.
The man described by Colm O'Rourke as the 'daddy of them all' when it came to winning football All-Ireland medals, at a ceremony for the latest inductees into the GAA's Hall of Fame this week, is better placed than most to offer comparisons between his great Kerry team and the Dublin team that broke new ground last Saturday night.
After all, Moran knows a thing or two about dominance and won his eight Celtic Crosses by playing every minute of those final wins in the same position. However, Moran points out that the game has changed so much that pitching his team against the current Dublin side or comparing Mick O'Dwyer with Jim Gavin is a largely redundant exercise.
He stresses, however, that's not to doubt Dublin's place in the history of the game. "Ah they were different eras," he said. "What you would say in our time it was 40 years ago so it is very hard to compare with that time but these certainly are the best team of their era and maybe ever.
"Their record shows that, no one else did five in a row so you have to acknowledge that and respect that."
And as for the two managers?
"It's different eras again; in Micko's time he did it all himself as everyone did in those days, 40 years ago the manager had four selectors and that was it, he did all the jobs.
"Now you have a team of people and that's the same in all sports, the same in rugby, you have teams of people. It's just the way the game has evolved. "
Over the course of the two games, Moran has no gripes with Dublin completing the five in a row. The better team won out.
"You'd have to say the best team won but I think our lads gave it everything," Moran said.
"They played their heart out and could probably have got it the first day. But you know a lot of these replays, you probably just get one bite.
"They are great team, they haven't lost a game since 2014 so you have huge admiration for them but our lads, they are young and I know it was bit of a cliché, but it will stand to them.
"For a lot of them it was a first All-Ireland final against a team going for five in a row. They did great and just came up short."
Moran's son David is odds on to win an All-Star award after a brilliant season in the Kerry engine room. 2019 also saw the return of David's long-time friend Tommy Walsh to the panel.
"They are great friends played together at U-12, Tommy has had a great career, has a fantastic attitude.
"He had a very bad hamstring (injury), the same one Paul O'Connell got. It nearly finished his career but he has a tremendous attitude and is a tremendous person. He fought back and keeps his counsel and works hard and he is a credit."
For Dean Rock's late free in the drawn game, the pair were ready to combine for a rugby-style lift to try and prevent the ball going over the bar. As it happened, Rock's effort tailed wide but Moran revealed they had cleared the move with referee David Gough.
"They said it to the ref. The referee said, 'I have no problem with it'… Yeah, he said, 'I won't blow it'.
"I don't know but you wouldn't want to let a hard free become an easy free. You'd want to make sure that you're on solid ground for that."
And Moran believes that the Kerry public have reason to be excited for what lies ahead for this team.
"I think the supporters will be kind to them. They've got to the league final, they've got to the All-Ireland. They've played very honestly, they've played their heart out and I think people will appreciate the efforts they have made.
"They just came up short at the end against the best team we've had, if ever, the best team for the last 50 years, 40 years, so I think people will understand the journey they're on and the efforts they have made. I think that they'll also be very hopeful for the future."