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'It doesn’t give the players enough respect' - Kerry star calls for bigger gap before All-Ireland semi-final

Paul Murphy feels there should be at least a two-week gap after the last Super 8s game.

Paul Murphy in action against Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Paul Murphy in action against Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

KERRY STAR DEFENDER Paul Murphy has called for a bigger gap between the final Super 8s game and the All-Ireland semi-final, saying the current schedule doesn’t give “enough respect” to players.

The Kingdom are facing into their first All-Ireland decider since 2015 this weekend after narrowly edging out a thrilling encounter against Tyrone.

Kerry booked their place in that last-four tie after finishing as Super 8s Group 1 winners with a comfortable win over Meath in their final game of the round-robin series.

Peter Keane’s side had just one week to reset for Tyrone after that clash with the Royals, and Murphy believes that players need more time to prepare for such a significant game.

“I have no problem with the date of the All-Ireland final being brought forward,” said Murphy at Kerry’s All-Ireland final press event when asked for his opinion at the changes to the fixture calendar.

“But I do have an issue with their only being a week of a gap between the last Super 8 game and the All-Ireland semi-final. If you have three weeks to prepare for the biggest game of the year in an All-Ireland final, then I think possibly only having six days to prepare for the second biggest game of the year in an All-Ireland semi-final is wrong.

It doesn’t give either the competition or the players enough respect. 

Murphy went onto suggest a time frame that he feels would be more appropriate for the penultimate stage of the football championship.

“I feel there should be at least two weeks between the end of the Super 8 and the semi-final. People will say if Tyrone had won the semi-final, that what they did against Dublin was the right thing but its unlikely you will have such a scenario again as happened in that group.”

diarmuid-oconnor-and-david-shaw-celebrate-with-tommy-walsh-after-the-game Kerry players celebrate after defeating Tyrone. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Defending champions Dublin await Kerry in the decider on Sunday afternoon [throw-in, 3.30pm], as Jim Gavin’s side look to complete an unprecedented five in-a-row.

Murphy’s county failed to achieve this feat when they were famously defeated by Offaly in the 1982 All-Ireland final, but the Rathmore star is unfazed by the opportunity to stop Dublin from making history.

He stresses that any mention of five in-a-row should only refer to their opposition.

“It does not come into the thinking because I don’t think any of us were even born in ’82.

We are just trying to win our first one so that is big enough for us. The significance of it is more so in Dublin’s side of it in what they are going for. Obviously they are going for five in-a-row so the significance of that is for Dublin only.

“We are looking to win our first here with this team. One All-Ireland is huge which gives you an indication of what Dublin has achieved in the last four year is incredible and to be going for five in a row is phenomenal altogether.

“But I think we are looking to win this year and last year doesn’t matter, next year doesn’t matter to us, it’s all about the here and now.”

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