Fitzmaurice: It is tougher managing in an All-Ireland final than playing in it

Fitzmaurice has now tasted All-Ireland success as a player, selector and as a manager.

It was Kerry's first All-Ireland title win in five years.
It was Kerry's first All-Ireland title win in five years.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IT WASN’T THE prettiest All-Ireland final win but Eamonn Fitzmaurice was just pleased to get over the line. Fitzmaurice has now experienced All-Ireland final day as a player, a selector and as a manager, and he found his current role the toughest to deal with.

“It is a lot harder on the sideline,” Fitzmaurice said.

“I was a selector with Jack O’Connor in 2009 and it wasn’t a sweet as when I was a player but this is definitely as sweet. Nothing can replace playing but this is a sweet one.”

Most people thought that Kieran Donaghy would be at the edge of the square from the off, but Fitzmaurice put Paul Geaney there to start. The Kerry manager stressed the importance of keeping your opposite number guessing before the throw in.

“You have to try and have a surprise up your sleeve on the day of a final,” Fitzmaurice said.

“Paul Geaney is good in the air too. We are fluid inside and that is a big thing that we worked on in the last few weeks. Kieran was outstanding as well.”

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Kerry were quite wasteful on the day and star man James O’Donoghue didn’t score at all. Despite kicking away some chances to make the finish a little less stressful, Fitzmaurice was confident his side would see out the game.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Fitzmaurice said.

“I knew after watching the Dublin game that we would get chances and we would go for them; if we got them we got them and if we missed them we weren’t going to be too worried about it. We knew it would be a very tight game and that there wouldn’t be much in it at the end. Thankfully we came out on the right side of it.”

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