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'These things aren't easy but it was the right time for me to go' - Galvin speaks about retirement

Kerry legend says it’s time to move on after hanging up his boots.

Galvin: won four All-Irelands with Kerry.
Galvin: won four All-Irelands with Kerry.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

KERRY LEGEND PAUL Galvin defended his decision to retire but said that he will never lose the will to win.

The 34-year-old shocked the GAA when he quit inter-county football on Saturday evening — just hours after he was due to tog out for Kerry in Croke Park.

It brought a close to a glittering career in which he won four All-Ireland titles, seven Munster Championships, three National Football Leagues and the 2009 Footballer of the Year Award.

“These things aren’t easy but it was the right time for me to go,” he told Matt Cooper on Today FM’s The Last Word. “It’s time to move on.”

Once he began to doubt that he could give Kerry his full commitment, Galvin knew that it was time to walk away.

Now living in Dublin, he has developed a number of business partnerships in recent years including his own website.

But he will continue to play club football with Finuge and even hinted at a return to hurling with Lixnaw where he won three senior county medals.

“There comes a time when you have to consider other people and other things in your life as well,” he said.

One thing that he won’t miss is the spotlight which saw his life on and off the field come under media scrutiny on a regular basis.

“There were times when I had my say privately at times if I needed to address people, people who had written stuff that was inaccurate or untrue about me.

“I did that and I had no bother doing it. That was the way I operated and I moved on from it then pretty quickly.

Players today are scrutinised to a level that they never have been before. You need to deal with it and I dealt with it fine. I had no problems dealing with it. You have to be tough.

He made his senior inter-county debut in 2002, the start of an 11-year career in which the highs far outweighed the lows.

The four All-Ireland titles in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 stand out among from a long list of success.

But his final Championship outing for Kerry would end in defeat at the hands of old rivals Dublin in a classic All-Ireland semi final last September.

“There were a few days towards the end and they were hard, they take it out of you.

“They took it out of me I must say, physically and mentally and emotionally. When you lose it’s hard.

The story of the Kerry team I played on was a team that kept coming back really and never went away through it all. I think the Kerry team I was part of was always there. There’s greatness in the longevity as well which was a big thing for me.

It was great fun while I was at it.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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