"It makes it difficult for the clubs, but it gives everyone the chance to play at the highest level" - Moran on Kerry championship
David Moran is preparing for his second Munster club final with Kerins O'Rahillys.
He's hoping for a different result this time around. It was back in 2009 when he made his bow at this stage and, all these years on, it's a game he still remembers with no great fondness.
He returned from Australia the day before that clash with Kilmurry Ibrickane and, by his own admission, it wasn't one of his better days. Having lined out at full forward, he recalls hitting six wides.
The Clare champions won by a point, on a scoreline of 0-7 to 0-6 so it's fair to say that, in Munster club territory, he has unfinished business .
Kerins O'Rahillys have two players coming home again this weekend, this time from Dubai, and Moran is hoping that Jack Savage and Cormac Coffey will have a sweeter trip home.
"That loss is a reference point and we'll be looking to go one step further this time," says Moran ahead of this Saturday's AIB Munster club final vs Newcastle West.
"There's obviously moments of magic or moments of disappointment in club-runs, and that was a disappointing one for us."
"The lads came back and played well the last day," he says of Coffey and Savage.
"They're home now in the next day or two and that's important that you get the day or two break between travelling and the game. This time of year, they're coming back into a really exciting time, so I'm sure they're bursting to come home."
14 years on...
David Moran is still leaping like a salmon. He's still catching kick-outs for Kerry 🏐 pic.twitter.com/PQlqJcWJdk
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) May 8, 2022
The last day was against Éire Óg of Ennis. Seeing as they were knocked out of the Kerry county championship early enough, that was the Narries' first competitive game in over a month and it wasn't looking good for Moran when he was sent off after 22 minutes.
"I was hugely disappointed. I felt I'd let people down. I was worried it was cost us the game. The big thing was that the lads dug it out and seeing as it was two yellow, I wasn't suspended, so huge relief then."
"The reality of life is that it doesn't feel like a long year, because we've been winning," he adds.
"It was relentless for a few weeks there, six or seven games in eight weeks. We had a lot of injuries in the county championship and we weren't performing well either so we probably needed that month off to get back to the form we showed in the club championship."
It certainly is a confusing one down in Kerry. By this Saturday, he'll have played in two Munster club finals even though he's yet to win a Kerry county championship. It's when the divisional sides win that the club champions go forward and though some feel the divisional structure is unfair on clubs, Moran can see both sides.
And seeing as they're one of the main reasons he's yet to win a county championship medal, he's certainly in a good place to call it.
"The divisions are very strong at the moment. I haven't been able to win a county championship, which is something I'd love to have done, and love to do if possible you know, so it does make it difficult for the clubs, but it does give everyone in Kerry the chance to play at the highest level in Kerry," he says.
"Also with the captaincy there for the county champions - it gives every guy the chance to captain Kerry, so I think you can argue both ways depending on where you're standing.
"When you've just eight club teams, there's going to be very little between them. It's a directive from Croke Park that you can only have sixteen teams and look, obviously if you disband the divisional teams, there's huge negatives and positives of that.
"It just depends on where you're at. Look at Rathmore, some of them won with East Kerry, now they're going forward in the intermediate hoping to have a great run at that. So they think it's a great system," he says.
O'Rahillys may not have gone well in the county championship - they were last in their group - but they won the club championship, and Moran says it was something they were delighted to do.
"This year I wanted to win something, as opposed to getting a good run in the county championship and winning nothing. We've a lot of strong clubs in Kerry, so to win that, we were very proud to win it."
He also has three All-Ireland medals for Kerry and the 34-year-old isn't still debating, from the county perspective, whether he'll come back for one more year.
"I've met with Jack. I just said I'll keep playing with the club, probably take Christmas to decide, then see in the new year. But at the moment, it's all about the club and bringing that as far as I can."