Kingdom supremo lauds ‘professionalism’ of victory over Tipperary
Fitzmaurice: ‘I’d say it’s the best win Kerry have had over Tipperary in a couple of years’
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice: Happy with side’s progress ahead of championship fixture against Waterford. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Hard to tell who faced the harder task after this: Eamonn Fitzmaurice tried to lessen the positives and find some value; while Peter Creedon attempted to hide the negatives and find consolation in such a wholesale championship defeat.
Chances are the Kerry manager found his task a little easier, if not more enjoyable.
“I don’t think it was about learning too much really,” said Fitzmaurice. “It was about coming in with the right attitude, getting a good performance in front of our own crowd, getting through to next weekend. And we did that so we are happy enough from that point of view.
“And it was a professional performance. There were parts of the game when we didn’t play particularly well, but I was very happy with the lads’ attitude from start to finish. I’d say it’s the best win Kerry have had over Tipperary in a couple of years. They are a tough net to crack and, overall, we would be very pleased.”
The rate and range of scoring certainly pleased Fitzmaurice.
“Yeah, we moved well there, at times, but it is still very early in the championship season so we have plenty to be working on.
Vote of confidence
But I have said it all along, we have a lot of faith in these younger players. Some of them found it tough at different stages of the league but they have learned a lot from it . . . but there will be tougher tests ahead. For the most part you need a very competitive panel and squad to ensure training sessions are very competitive and when you are picking the team you want competition for places so the more competition the better.”
So, only six days now to get ready for Waterford back in Killarney on Saturday evening: “Six days is very close, particularly with the championship intensity. But we’ve known this all along. Waterford requested it, originally, with regard to club fixtures, with football and hurling.
“I’m not sure [of] the ins and outs, but it’s agreed . . . But there’ll be no experimentation. It’s a championship match and we’ll be giving it the fullest respect.”
For Creedon the only hope now is that Tipperary can find some form in time for the qualifiers, because there was no disguising the lack of challenge here.
“Just beaten by a better team on the day,” he said. “Kerry played to a high standard and we just weren’t able to cope with it . . . Kerry were able to offload a few good players from the bench and push on
“The weekend results are beginning to show that the top four or five teams are just powering ahead . . . there should be a top 16 going into a senior championship and a senior B, whatever. But my aim is to try and build a team over the next two or three years that can actually come down here and rattle them. But everything has to fall into place.”