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Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice: 'It is great to win the League'

By Cian O'Connell

Making a statement and earning silverware at Croke Park ensured it was a hugely satisfying afternoon at Croke Park for Kerry.

Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was content with how a gripping match unfolded as Dublin’s two year unbeaten, 36 match Allianz Football League and Championship run was terminated.

“Yeah, it is great, of course, to win the League,” Fitzmaurice admits. “Every year you set off at the start of the year in three big competitions. The League, the Munster Championship, and the All Ireland. It would be third in our list of priorities, but still you want to try to go out to win it.

“Thankfully we got a chance, first of all from last Sunday to get into the League Final, to be up here this weekend. Today it was great to win it.”

Having suffered high profile Championship defeats to Kerry since 2009 Fitzmaurice acknowledged it was ‘important’ to beat Dublin. “It was important, every team you play you are going out to try to beat them,” Fitzmaurice remarked.

“This Dublin team, like I said last week, it isn't like we are the only team that struggled with them. They are one of the best teams that has ever played the game.

“Everyone is agreed and there is a consensus on that, we have been very close to them in the last few years, particularly in the Championship, not so much in the League.

“So we knew we weren't a million miles away, but to get the job done, absolutely it was great. I think for the belief of the players themselves it will be a big boost to them.”

Fitzmaurice, though, stressed that Kerry competed in some splendid battles with Dublin during the past decade.

“We come up, we give it everything we have, they are a brilliant team,” Fitzmaurice stated when asked whether it was vital for Kerry to overcome Dublin.

“We have come up short, but we have come up short going at them, bringing the best out of them. The Kerry Dublin games over the past number of years have been some of the best games that have been played over the last 10 years.

“We are realistic to know and to say that is good or this is something we need to improve on. If Dublin had beaten us, it wouldn't have been the end of the world, we still have players to come back.

“It is still the month of April, there is still a lot of work to be done for Championship. I don't think it would have been the end of the world, but the fact we won it is a positive, of course.”

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