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Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, left, and Cork manager Ronan McCarthy following the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Kerry at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. 

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, left, and Cork manager Ronan McCarthy following the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Kerry at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork.

Fitzmaurice hopes Quarter-Final series will suit Kerry


By John Harrington

Kerry football manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, is hopeful the All-Ireland Quarter-Final series will suit his exciting, young team.

Three matches in quick succession should further accelerate their already impressive rate of development.

And with the first match of the Quarter-Final series coming up against Galway in three weeks’ time, Fitzmaurice is pleased the gap isn’t as lengthy as it previously was between the Provincial Final and All-Ireland Quarter-Final.

“From our point of view, 100% is what we want, it's games and it's the period certainly since I've taken over that we've found hardest to manage," said Fitzmaurice.

“There's always been lots spoken about the period in between league and championship, we've never had any hassle with that. We just play a load of club football in Kerry and it suits us.

“But that period July, the month of July, we've tried plenty of different things, we've always found it difficult so playing games this summer certainly is very appealing.”

Kerry were very impressive in their 3-18 to 2-04 Munster Final victory over Cork on Saturday evening.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice during the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Kerry at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. 
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice during the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Kerry at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. 

A quick scan of the record-books revealed it to be their biggest win over the Rebels in Championship football since 1938.

“I didn’t know that now,” said Fitzmaurice.

“I think that we prepared very professionally for it, we felt that it was going to be a tough ask coming up here and the lads have applied themselves really well over the last couple off weeks.

“We were really zoned in on the game, we wanted to get a performance and we wanted to build on the performance in Killarney against Clare. I think we did that for the most part.”

“I think every year you just approach it and you go at it and you try and win it. I think the big thing with the Munster Championship, you want to win the Munster Championship, it’s where we’re from and then it gives you the direct route to Croke Park, where you want to go so no, we haven’t been thinking about records, we’re just delighted to be where we are now.”

Cork just had no answer to Kerry’s athleticism all over the field, the intensity of their tackling, or the finishing power of players like Paul Geaney, James O’Donoghue, and David Clifford.

Kerry were completely dominant for the most part, but Fitzmaurice admits the concession of two soft goals in the first ten minutes leaves them with a few work-ons ahead of the All-Ireland Quarter-Final series.

“Yeah, look, it’s something we had spoken about, it’s something we had trained, it’s something we had planned for but I think sometimes you’re playing against good teams and good players and you have to give credit to them when they manufacture things like that and they execute them then as well so, you know, like I said, it’s something that we have to work on,” he said.

“Again, it’s a good thing as a management team for us to have something to work on and to have things to be able to go after the lads about next week, looking down the track to the Galway game now.”

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