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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

'I'm not really going to look back in the wing mirror too much, Kerry will move on, I'll move on'

His Kerry days may have drawn to a close but Fionn Fitzgerald is now focused on Dr Crokes.

Fionn Fitzgerald at today's media event ahead of Dr Crokes AIB All-Ireland senior football club semi-final.
Fionn Fitzgerald at today's media event ahead of Dr Crokes AIB All-Ireland senior football club semi-final.
Image: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

THE OFF SEASON brought about a seismic change in Fionn Fitzgerald’s football career but the former Kerry captain harbours no regrets as his club commitments with Dr Crokes consume his current focus.

It was Fitzgerald who was presented with the trophy when Kerry won the league against Dublin in 2017 while before that he lifted Sam Maguire in 2014 with club-mate Kieran O’Leary.

Peter Keane’s installation as Kerry manager brought about an overhaul to the squad during the winter and for Fitzgerald it is Dr Crokes where his sporting interest lies for 2019.

“My status is Kerry is done for me really. I’m very happy with Crokes. I’m not back in with Kerry next year. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be different next year. It’ll be different this summer, it’ll be different these couple of months.

“I got married in December and I was on honeymoon. For the last two months, between that and getting back into work in Crokes, I’ve had plenty to get my teeth stuck into. That’s basically, the situation.”

The lack of communication from Keane to the players who were no longer set to be involved did spark a flare of controversy in some quarters but it’s not a topic that Fitzgerald is going to delve into.

“I was indirectly linked with it, I had nothing to do with it. I don’t really have an opinion on it and that’s not flunking the question or anything.

“I’m very happy with Crokes and I’m very happy with where I’m at and really looking forward to next year. I’m not really going to look back in the wing mirror too much. Kerry will move on, I’ll move on. That’s where it’s at. That’s the honest answer.

“I went to the first (Kerry league) game. I know very little about Kerry, I’ll be straight about it. Between being away with the wedding and everything, and with Crokes, it’s just taken up my time. Even the lads I’d be good friends with, I kind of left them for the last time.

“Kerry were good, they were grand; it wasn’t Kerry’s fault but I didn’t particularly enjoy the game, it wasn’t a great game. It was tough and intense but it wasn’t a brilliant game to watch.”

Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O'Leary lift The Sam Maguire cup Kerry's joint captains Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O'Leary lift the Sam Maguire in 2014. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dr Crokes is a positive outlet to immerse himself in. The 2017 All-Ireland kingpins returned to the summit in Munster in November and have a semi-final date with Leinster champions Mullinalaghta on Saturday 16 February.

“We have a strong team at the minute and I love playing with Crokes. I’m looking forward to being able to give a little bit more to them over the next while.

“It doesn’t, it helps to be playing at this high level in January and February at this level with a full selection; that’s what you want.

“They’re my boys, they’re the guys I grew up with. We’ve been very lucky over the last number of years. It’s something we never knew would happen really. You’re just trying to live in the moment and enjoy it as best you can. It won’t last forever, it definitely won’t, enjoy it while you can.”

Following a tough Six Nations opening defeat to England, Joe Schmidt will look to regroup against a dangerous Scotland side. This week, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey are joined by Bernard Jackman to assess the damage of last weekend and look ahead to the clash in Murrayfield:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Fintan O'Toole

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