FIVE KERRY PLAYERS won a record eight All-Ireland medals between 1975 and 1986, but there are a host of Dublin players now closing in on that haul.
Pat Spillane, Páidí Ó Sé, Mikey Sheehy, Denis ‘Ógie’ Moran and Ger Power hold 40 Celtic Corsses between them, yet they may be surpassed by the time this current Dublin side are finished.
Stephen Cluxton, Michael Fitzsimons, Cian O’Sullivan, Darren Daly, James McCarthy, Michael Darragh MacAuley, Bernard Brogan, Eoghan O’Gara, Philly McMahon and Kevin McManamon lifted the Sam Maguire for the seventh time at the weekend.
Moran played every minute of those eight deciders for the Kingdom, while Cluxton and McCarthy are the only two who’ve started all seven finals for Dublin.
Retirement is the only thing likely to prevent them from adding to their collection over the coming years. The average age of Jim Gavin’s starting team was 26 for the replay so they’re not going anywhere soon.
By the time all is said and done, Fitzsimons (31) and in particular McCarthy (29) could be out on their own on the top of the list.
“I can’t do anything about that I think. I’ll just have to suck it up,” said Moran when he was asked about the prospect of his eight All-Ireland medals being surpassed.
“That’s sport, different eras. In our era we were probably the prominent team, and now they are the prominent team.
“Fair play to them, it’s not easy to do that. It’s a massive achievement not to have lost a game since 2014, and some of the players there have never lost.
“The goalie has been there for such a long time, the midfielder is fantastic. That fella (Brian Fenton) has a fantastic record, to have never lost a championship game. There are some great players up front as well.
Former Kerry footballer Denis ‘Ogie’ Moran at the GAA Museum where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE
“They are a very compete team, they are great athletes, very disciplined, great to react on the spot to the situation they are in.”
of the team
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Moran, who was speaking at his induction into the GAA’s Hall of Fame today, said it’s futile trying to compare the current Dublin team to the great Kingdom side of the 1970s and ’80s.
“It’s very hard to judge it. It’s good pub talk. It’s just impossible to compare a team, there’s 40 years of difference. The games have changed so much, there is a running game now, a possession game.
“We probably stayed in our own parts of the field and there was a lot more kicking. You fought for your own ball and you were marking one guy, you either beat him or he beat you.
“Now its much more scientific, much more thought goes into it, much more preparation goes into it. In our time there was no such thing as video analysis. Kevin Heffernan, he was a one-man band Mick O’Dwyer was a one-man band, so it’s just a different game.
“So, it’s almost impossible to compare them. Its 40 years apart.”
Moran’s son David was part of the Kerry side that went down by six points in the replay on Saturday night. It was the third time he’s come up short in an All-Ireland final against Dublin, following the defeat 2015 and the draw a fortnight ago.
Ogie feels the experience gained by Kerry this season will stand to them in the coming years.
“Very disappointed after getting to a final, you have a fighting chance. It’s a marvellous Dublin team, they won five in a row, and you can have no complaints about it really. I think the best team won.
“A lot of them (the Kerry players), maybe 10 or 11 of them, it was their first All-Ireland final, they got to the National League final, the All-Ireland final.
“They played their hearts out and the people can’t fault them. They just came up short in the end. But I think there will hopefully be brighter days for a lot of them in the future.”
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