Paul Galvin calls time on Kerry intercounty career
News confirmed after Kingdom lose opening league encounter to 14-man Dublin
Paul Galvin has called time on his inter-county career with Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Dublin forward Eoghan O’Gara scores his side’s second goal during the Allianz Football League Division One game against Kerry at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Dublin 2-8 Kerry 1-10: Dublin’s whip hand over Kerry continues, at least for now, but notable though the result was, the most newsworthy aspect of the night was the retirement from intercounty football of Kerry’s Paul Galvin.
When it was announced before the game that Kerry had one change in the subs with Galvin not togging out, few thought any more of it. But Eamonn Fitzmaurice confirmed afterwards that Galvin had decided to call it a day – citing his living in Dublin and inability to give the required commitment – and bringing to an end one of the most colourful football careers of recent times.
A four-time All-Ireland winner and three times named on the football All Stars, Galvin released a statement on his website to explain his decision to call time on a career that included its share of controversy.
It read: “I would like to sincerely thank the Kerry County Board and Kerry Group for their support over the years, the 4 managers I played under for placing their faith in me, my family, and of course, the proud Kerry supporters who demanded our best at all times. There were days when you played with us too.
“More importantly I want to thank all my team-mates for your heart and friendship over the years. Standing my ground with you in the Kerry jersey was my privilege. I learned more from you than anyone and I am grateful for the opportunity I got to play with some of the best players to ever play the game.
“Having discussed it with the management during the week we felt it best to announce it after tonights game.
“Finally I want to thank Eamon and wish him, the management team and my brothers on the Kerry team the very best luck for 2014.
“I am proud to say I won All Irelands for Kerry and I am satisfied that I gave the cause everything I had in me.”
It means another of Kerry’s All-Ireland winners melts back into society, leaving only five of the team that started the 2009 final still available to them. Times are changing, teams are changing.
The cast list here was entirely different from last September’s All-Ireland semi-final, with Kerry only starting seven of the team that so rattled Dublin and the champions going lower again and starting only four.
An entertaining night’s fare ended with Jim Gavin’s side a man down but a point up, leaving Kerry to head back south wondering quite how they’d left the points behind them. Despite playing with 14 men for most of the second half Dublin scored five of the last six points to grind out the victory.