Paul Galvin won’t feature against Cork, says Éamonn Fitzmaurice

Former footballer of the year short of match fitness

Éamonn Fitzmaurice has ruled Paul Galvin out of Sunday’s Munster football final at Fitzgerald stadium, Killarney.

The 2009 footballer of the year and four-time All-Ireland winner unexpectedly retired from intercounty football in February 2014 only to return to the Kerry panel in recent months.

However, Galvin made little impact during the league, while the recurrence of a quad injury kept him out of Kerry’s Munster semi-final victory over Tipperary.

“He is [fit],” said Fitzmaurice of his 35-year-old brother-in-law.


“He’s back training now. Whether the Cork game will come too soon, probably will. But he’s in great shape, it’s just a matter of getting that football sharpness back into him and the longer we stay in the championship the more of a factor he’ll become.”

Highest level

Fitzmaurice was asked if he was concerned about Galvin’s ability to perform at the highest level after two years away.

“I wouldn’t. Sure, I suppose you could say the same about Colm [Cooper].

“If they are surviving in our training games and if they’re bringing it to the table in our training games, you’d feel they could survive in most games.

“Obviously, an intercounty championship game is going to be a step-up again, but it’s good preparations.

“No, I wouldn’t have a fear because if I did have a fear, he wouldn’t be in there because it would mean he was taking someone else’s spot.

“When his football sharpness is where it needs to be and he is able to play well in our football games in training, he’ll be ready to go.”

Galvin’s last championship match was the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin.

Fitzmaurice also addressed recent criticism of Cork by his former team-mate Tomás Ó Sé, who also retired after that Dublin defeat.

Ó Sé said Brian Cuthbert’s team were “rudderless from the management down”.

“Look, with Tomás, that’s his opinion,” said Fitzmaurice.

“I think that’s the attraction of him as a pundit. Outside of the dressing-room, because he would have kept a very low profile in general, many people wouldn’t have known that he’s sharp on the game and very insightful and he’s honest and he’ll say what he’s thinking.

“That’s Tomás’s opinion and he’s entitled to his opinion but it definitely wouldn’t be my opinion and it wouldn’t be anyone’s opinion in the camp. I imagine Brian Cuthbert was rubbing his hands together in glee when Tomás said it because Cork are very motivated anyway.

“They’re more motivated considering the amount of bad press they got after the league final, even though they had a very good league up to that point, beating all of the famous ‘big four’ that are there, beating Monaghan above in their own backyard. Not too many teams do it.

“So I imagine the Cork management and players, the management in particular, would have been delighted with it and probably used it. I would imagine the players would be a bit miffed at it. Like I said, it wouldn’t be my opinion.

“I would see Cork as a very dangerous animal, they’re in the very same situation as we were this time last year. They’re being written off completely.

“I was thinking about them during the year, they have to be the most maligned bunch in the country full stop, football or hurling.

Little credit

“If you think back to even when they won their All-Ireland in 2010, I think they got very little credit for it. If you contrast it to the credit Donegal got for their All-Ireland in 2012 or either of the Dublin All-Irelands or even our own All-Ireland last year, they got no credit whatsoever.

“So I imagine in the Cork camp there would have a siege mentality because of the way they’ve been picked at within their own county and outside their own county.

“I imagine this would have thrown petrol on the flames. Like I said, we’re not foolish to underestimate Cork.”

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent