Friday 23 March 2018

Walsh rues mistakes on rare off-day for Kingdom

Donnchadh Walsh: 'Conditions were tough for both teams but we definitely made more mistakes than they did'
Donnchadh Walsh: 'Conditions were tough for both teams but we definitely made more mistakes than they did'

Michael Verney

Donnchadh Walsh is not relishing the long winter ahead after an error-ridden display saw Kerry's bid for consecutive All-Ireland crowns come screeching to a halt on Sunday.

It was an unusual off-day for the Kingdom, who pride themselves on their big-game performances, and Jim Gavin's Dublin could have been out of sight had they not spurned a series of goal-scoring opportunities.

Walsh placed much blame for the display on their own ineptitude while admitting that there's a long road to travel before atoning for the heartbreaking defeat.

"Hats off to Dublin, they didn't let us perform. Conditions were tough for both teams but we definitely made more mistakes than they did," said a dejected Walsh.

"Handling errors, our shooting was off. Simple errors, turnovers. We knew they'd punish us if we did that. They punished us in 2013 and they punished us again yesterday. It's very disappointing. It won't sit well with us for a while.

"Hunger is something that drives every team. You get more out of yourself the hungrier you are. That'll help us next year but next year is a long way away from now."

He confessed he would have been "gutted" if Eamonn Fitzmaurice hadn't stayed on as manager, but more than anyone he appreciates the huge commitment required to play or manage at inter-county level.


The Cromane wing-forward is also encouraging some of the "older" members of the Kerry squad not to make any rash decisions on their future.

"It's up to fellas themselves. They know when it's time but I'd be encouraging fellas to stay on because no matter what kind of contribution they can give it will be worth it," he said.

"It's not just what they can offer on the field but what they can offer off it too.

"Their experience . . . they can be as big an influence as a coach or a manager. I'd just love if these fellas stuck around again."

The hard-working Walsh was his usual busy self over the 70 minutes and he is line for a first All-Star at the ripe age of 31. And he doesn't plan on slowing down just yet.

"The curve is still on the way up for me so once it is, no matter what line of work you're in, you want to stay on the crest of a wave," he said.

"Obviously, your gut is telling you why are you putting yourself through it when you don't win. It's like all this effort without any reward.

"At the moment, you don't want to think about anything but after a few weeks and months that will change.

"I was lucky to get a job as a physio in Kerry General Hospital and hopefully if that continues to work out then it would help me for another year."

Irish Independent

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