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'Cork generally like to peak in September - they’re very good at it'

Kerry’s Ciara Murphy remains confident ahead of their opening round Munster fixture with the Leesiders.

FOR MANY YEARS, Cork have been the dominant force at All-Ireland level in Ladies Football. However, their Munster rivals Kerry are hoping to cause an upset for the second year running on the provincial stage.

Off the back of a six-point win over Waterford in the opening round just a week after claiming the Division 1 league title, Ephie Fitzgerald’s side will be confident they can overcome the Kingdom this evening in Macroom.

Kerry have other plans though.

“We’re under no illusions with Cork, we’re well used to playing them down in Munster” Kerry defender Ciara Murphy told The42.

“Cork generally like to peak in September, they’re very good at it, but we’ll see how that goes. We’re ready for it anyway.

“We’re very much focused on ourselves. Obviously we’re looking at other teams but we just want to get ourselves right.”

The Dublin-based Foxrock-Cabinteely club woman first came into the panel last year after a run of bad injuries, and since then has made quite a name for herself in green and gold.

“I came in last January. I would have played U14, U16, minor but it was only last year that I came into the senior panel. I tore ligaments in my ankle at minor level, it kept recurring and niggling at me. So when I got that right, I worked hard to get back at it.

“It has been great, I’ve really enjoyed it. We have a great group of girls down there, we all have the same focus, and we all just want to get over the line at some point and win an All-Ireland.”

All-Irelands are something that Murphy isn’t a stranger to, captaining her UCD side to O’Connor Cup victory over favourites UL earlier this year. As a result, she was named LGFA Player of the Month for March and received a HEC All-Star.

“2016 has been a very good year for me personally sporting wise.

“I suppose being captain was obviously such a privilege and an honour. They’re such a great group of girls, especially in my final year of college it was amazing.

“There’s nothing like championship football, and football like that at a competitive level, you learn from all of those experiences and that’s definitely something that I hope to take into this championship campaign with Kerry and hopefully something that I can build on and work on”

Kate Nolan, Ciara Murphy, Patrick O'Donovan and Carol O'Leary Murphy (second from the left) at the announcement. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Speaking at the announcement of the €1 million funding granted to Ladies Football and camogie by the government, the Division 1 Team of the League half-back was more than optimistic about the investment.

“It’s great that this is coming in and it’s very much for the players and what they players want themselves.

“It can only be a good thing. It’s for the players and the players decide what they want to do with the money so I think that it’s great.”

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Emma Duffy

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