The anticipation ahead of Sunday’s sold out All Ireland SFC semi-final between Dublin and Kerry is palpable. There has been plenty of reminiscing to past encounters between these two powerhouses of the game, particularly the classic battles of the 70’s.
It was a much different game back then and most would say they were much more tougher encounters, with a lot more physicality and off the ball shenanigans allowed by the officials.
But no matter what went on between the players on the pitch, or the result, there was always a mutual respect between both teams and certainly no moaning to the media.
Fast forward to the current era though and you find a much different story and Kerry have become the biggest moaners of them all. Every loss to Dublin has cut deep into the Kerry psyche and the claims coming from the men from the kingdom get more ludicrous with every game.
Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice’s ‘rape and pillage’ comment after Dublin’s eleven point victory over his men in the Allianz League Final in April is a prime example.
But Kerry captain Brian Sheehan has now resorted to insulting Jim Gavin’s men and their recent triumphs over the Kingdom.
In an Interview with the Irish Independent he had this to say: “In 2011, I felt we were the better team. I’ll go on record – they stole that one off us. We let it slip through our hands; 2013 I thought was probably one of the best games of football ever played. It came down to (Kevin McManamon) going for a point more so than a goal. Just slipped in. They won it.
“Then I think 2015 we just didn’t perform to our capabilities. So I think we’re more than capable of beating Dublin. Fear is not an issue.”
So Dublin’s skill levels, athleticism, score taking ability, caliber of player, strength in depth and so on, had nothing to do with it at all. Instead the boys in blue only won thanks to an act of larceny, a jammy miss-hit shot and Kerry just not performing.
Those comments show a complete lack of respect and class from a player that not only his teammates, but young Kerry fans are supposed to look up to as a Captain and leader of his team.
It looks like the recent losses to Dublin have really gotten under the skin of Eamon Fitzmaurice and his squad and these recents comment but particularly Sheehan’s may come back to haunt them.
No matter how much those defeats may be hurting the Kerry players, coming out belittling and showing no respect for a teams recent achievements over you, particularly a team like Dublin who only a few months back handed Kerry an eleven point mauling, may not have been the wisest thing to do.
Dublin may very well make Sheehan choke on those comments on Sunday afternoon with another comprehensive victory.