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David Moran: Team Comes First in Competitive Squad 2015-08-22 07:20:00

Team Comes First in Competitive Squad says Moran

By John Ivory

Kerry midfielder David Moran is happy with the team’s progress this year and has highlighted the importance of team success rather than personal success within the squad.

‘’I think it probably took a slow start. I missed the Tipperary game, and was black carded in the first game against Cork and I think the rest of the team, we’ve been building solidly since then.

‘’I think everyone’s performance has improved. It’s not about me or it’s not about individuals, it’s once Kerry keep winning, once Kerry keep playing well, I’m happy.’’

The Kerins O’Rahillys clubman stated that expectations of a good display were high going into the Kildare clash and he was pleased with the way things worked out on the day.

‘’I suppose we had really hoped for a good performance. We had trained well and we knew it was in the tank and we still wanted to see it. You want to see the good performance out in Croke Park.

‘‘I think the goals went in and they killed the scoreboard a bit like, but from our point of view we were just looking for a performance. I think we got it.’’

Seven goals in a game is a rarity in Gaelic football and it was something that Moran himself even found a little strange, but he pointed to the vastness of Croke Park and squad competition as factors in the second half goal-spree in early August.

‘’It was weird the way it happened. I think Croke Park is kind of funny like that you know, when games open up at the end it really opens up. Then I suppose you’ve guys coming in - it probably goes back to the strength of our panel – guys coming in that had no interest in taking the foot off the pedal.

‘’They’re all playing to try and get on the team and if a chance came up they weren’t going to tap it over – well maybe Gooch did – but he didn’t do it the first two times. I think it was just the fact that fellas were coming on mad to try and get their place on the team.’’Fitzmaurice Relishing ‘Fantastic Test’

By John Ivory

Speaking at a press conference last Thursday, Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice acknowledged Tyrone’s strengths and he believes they will be a difficult team to beat in the All-Ireland semi-final.

‘’I think that when they defend, they defend very well. They defend in numbers and when they turn over the ball then they’re excellent in transition. They get bodies up the field, they support each other. They’ve a couple of very big leaders then that are very important to them.

‘’They play the game on their terms and I think they’re going to be as tough a nut as we’ve had to crack since I’ve taken over anyway.’’

Mickey’s Harte’s side have caught the Finuge man’s eye, and he pointed to the number of games they’ve played and the progress they’ve made throughout the year.

‘’I think they’ve been very impressive throughout the qualifier run but I think even if you go back further, even though they were relegated in the league, they played particularly well against the bigger teams.

‘’Since they’ve gone through the qualifier route they’ve improved from game to game. They’ve gotten more and more impressive with each game and yeah, I did think they were very impressive the last day.

‘’I think they completely snuffed Monaghan out and they’re in the All-Ireland semi-final on merit now and they’re going to be a very tough nut for us to crack.’’

Fitzmaurice and his charges are relishing the tactical side of this particular game that awaits them on August 23rd and it’s one he hopes they can conquer.

‘’I do I enjoy it (the tactical battle). I think the lads around me enjoy it as well and the players enjoy it but any game you’re coming up against different teams, playing different ways and you’re trying to figure out what’s the best way to play against them. Respecting the opposition and at the same time trying to get the best out of yourself.

‘’It can be a tough balancing act at times but no like I said, it’s a great challenge. It’s a fantastic test for myself and the management team and for the players. I’m really looking forward to it.’’

Fitzmaurice Happy with Progress and Competition in the Squad
By John Ivory

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice believes that having a replay against Cork in the Munster final has hugely benefitted his side as they face up to Tyrone in their All-Ireland semi-final this weekend.
‘’I think it was a huge factor (the replay) because in other years in July what we’ve done is a week of county championship where the lads are gone from us. We come in the Tuesday after the Munster final, the lads are gone then until the following Tuesday because they’re playing county championship.
‘’Going in to some of those quarter finals we didn’t have a huge pile of football played and we mightn’t have been as sharp as we should have been so definitely I think this year, the second game against Cork brought us on massively.
‘’We needed it to get us to where we were and I think it definitely helped us then in Croke Park in the quarter final.’’
When asked about squad competition, he was honest in saying it is a challenge keeping everyone happy, but that what’s best for the team supersedes personal feelings.
‘’We’ve used a good number of players, between the two Munster finals and the All-Ireland quarter final I think we’d used 25 or 26 players, so that’s a great sign of the squad.
‘’Fellas are getting action and it means that the lads know that they’ve a great chance of starting or coming on if they’re going well in training, so it has brought a good edge to training alright.’’
Happy with the team’s progress, Fitzmaurice wants his side to replicate their performance against Kildare in the quarter-finals and knows nothing less than their best will do the next day out.
‘’We’re where we need to be. We’re in an All-Ireland semi-final against a fantastic opposition, we have a lot of fellas going well. The competition for places is as severe as it has ever been so yeah, we’re happy with where we’re at. None of that counts for anything unless you bring out a big performance again.
‘’We don’t want to go up in an All-Ireland quarter final and produce this five star performance and then go up in the semi-final and fall flat on our faces so we want to try and build on that performance if we can at all.’’

Place in All Ireland Final at Stake as Kerry take on Tyrone in All Ireland Semi Final

After a Championship that has hardly set the world alight, we are down to the final four teams in the competition and I think that it is true to say that there is little doubt but the best four teams remain. Munster champions Kerry, take on Tyrone on Sunday next in Croke Park (3:30) for a place in the All Ireland Final and the stakes could hardly be higher. 
Kerry were hardly over impressive in their games against Tipperary nor against Cork in the drawn encounter, but they did up the ante considerably in the replay victory over the Rebels while against Kildare, they were allowed do as they pleased against a side who seemed happy to have got to that stage.
However, that Quarter final display did please the management team no end as, for a change, Kerry were not content with going through the motions of qualifying for a semi -final place.

Tyrone were out of the Ulster Championship on May 17th having gone down to Donegal by three points and they then had a six week break to regroup before coming through the qualifying route with victories over Limerick (9 points), Meath (2 points), Tipperary (12 points) and Sligo (7 points) before surprising many with a four points victory over Ulster champions Monaghan, a victory that was far more emphatic than the winning margin would suggest.

There is no doubt but the Ulster men pose a huge threat to Kerry’s title ambitions for 2015. The absence through injury of the likes of Michael Geaney and Kieran O’Leary and the major doubt about James O’Donoghue’s participation for the same reason, has weakened Kerry’s hand at a time when the need for a full squad is at its greatest. Tyrone had the upper hand on The Kingdom throughout their championship meetings during the nineties, but Kerry can point to a ten points victory over the Red Hand side when the sides last crossed swords in the Championship back in 2012, albeit the fact that game was played in Kerry’s own back yard in Fitzgerald Stadium.

It will take a monumental effort by the All Ireland Champions to hold on to their title on Sunday, but it is a task that is certainly not beyond them. Referee for Sunday’s clash is Maurice Deegan of Laois who also had charge of the replayed Munster final.

Lixnaw Instrumental Music group, All Ireland Scór na Nóg winners this year, will perform for the attendance at the interval.

Kerry to Play Tyrone in All Ireland Football Semi Final

Tyrone’s victory over Ulster champions Monaghan in the All Ireland Quarter final on Saturday last set up a Kerry V Tyrone All Ireland Semi Final on August 23rd (3:30pm).

Tyrone began their Championship campaign way back on May 17th when they went down to Donegal by three points but since then they have regrouped in the Qualifiers with victories over Limerick, Meath, Tipperary and Galway and no doubt they are a major threat to the All Ireland Champions.

The sides last met in the championship in 2012 in a Round 3 Qualifier in Fitzgerald Stadium where a 25,000 crowd saw Kerry win by 1-16 to 1-6.

The curtain raiser to the senior game is the Minor Semi final between Kerry and Ulster champions Derry who were made fight all the way by a dogged Longford side in the Quarter Finals. Throw-in for that game is 1:30pm.

The second All Ireland senior semi final will see Mayo play Dublin on August 30th with the Minor semi final between Kildare and Tipperary being the curtain raiser to that game.

Click here for Semi Final Ticket Arrangement

Click here for details of Kerry GAA Supporters Bus to both semi finals on Sunday next