KERRY BOSS EAMON Fitzmaurice paid tribute to star forward James O’Donoghue and reckoned he is ‘a freak of nature’ after his man-of-the-match performance in yesterday’s Munster final in the wake of a recent shoulder injury.
2013 Allstar winner O’Donoghue missed last month’s provincial semi-final against Clare but kicked 0-10 in a superb showing as Kerry destroyed Cork in yesterday’s decider in Munster.
“He’s probably a bit of a freak of nature in that there are not too many fellas that can be out for a couple of weeks with an injury and come in as sharp as he does,” stated Fitzmaurice.
“He played 35 minutes last Saturday in our internal match, he was sharp again Tuesday night, sharper Thursday night, sharp in Fota (Saturday) night and very sharp today. But we knew he had form like that from last year.
“He had a hamstring injury the time of the Cavan game but was jumping out of his skin for the Dublin game so we knew there was no fear of him today.”
Legion clubman O’Donoghue was thrilled to be back in action.
“I didn’t kick a ball for five weeks so to be on I was delighted. There is nothing worse than preparing for a Munster final when you are not on. I was delighted to be on and kick a few points, over the moon.
“Maybe we did have a lot of space, but we have clever players running in all different directions and that created space for me. When you do get space you have to punish and luckily we did.”
Kerry entered the game in a low-key fashion and after doubts about their prospects in 2014, this display will have silenced their critics.
“We took criticism throughout the year, but we are a tight group. All that criticism we bottled it up and then thrived on it. There are always new fellas coming on in Kerry. We have lost a couple of players, but all is not over. We have some very good players coming through and they stood up today, thank God.”