Kieran Donaghy names the toughest defence he ever faced
Former Kerry forward Kieran Donaghy said that the current Dublin team and the Tyrone teams from 2005 to 2008 were the toughest defences he ever faced in his intercounty career.
Donaghy announced his retirement from intercounty football earlier this month after 13 years with the Kerry senior football team where he won four All-Ireland medals and three All-Star awards.
The 35-year-old went on to Radio Kerry's Terrace Talk on Wednesday to discuss his career but he refused to identify which player was the toughest defender that he faced in his career.
"There was a lot of very good full-backs that I came up against and I wouldn't want to do any of them the injustice by naming one over the other because some of them were unbelievabe," said Donaghy.
"But what I found tougher more than the toughest full-back was the toughest defensive team, as in a team that defended as a unit and as a back six that help each other and leave their own men and go after the ball and hunt in packs.
"The Tyrone team of 2005 to 2008 would be like that along with the current Dublin team in that they're all excellent defenders by themselves.
"Then they throw in the dynamic of always being in the right position and always knowing when to leave their man and go help somebody else, knowing that there is rotation there... there was a great understanding between both teams.
"They were probably the toughest I found to go against and you'd land and there would be another two guys there. It was just very hard to negotiate both those systems really."
Donaghy had a unique way of retiring from the game and confirmed that he would be hanging up his boots in the form of a poem.
"Kerry I thank you…
Up to Croker in ‘97, my dream it began
Standing in the Nally, I said ‘Maybe I can’
The famine was ended and Kerry were back
As a minor four years later, I’d give it a crack
Thank god I’m from Kerry, we sure are the best
History, tradition, st Brendan on the crest
I played right on the edge, not a backward step taken
Will I ever apologise? You must be mistaken
By God, it was special, the Green and Gold on my back
I did my job well, in the air I’d attack,
To the jersey I love you, I wore you with pride
Didn’t win them all but so hard I tried.
The future is exciting, we must support our team
It’s been so emotional and we’ve shared the dream
That’s a big part of it, that’s what we’re about
It’s the jersey, it’s Kerry, It’s ‘Up the Kingdom!’ we shout
I’ll never forget ye, ye know who ye are
Bonded forever, on the pitch, at the bar
We climbed all the mountains, they look good from the top
Celtic crosses in our pockets, those memories won’t stop.
Fitzgerald stadium was home, it’s where I kicked my last ball
After hugging my brothers, the tears did fall
I shouldn’t be sad, we were good for each other
Now's the right time to hand it to another
The next chapter is here. Oh I can’t wait
No ifs, no buts, only total faith
Hilary, Lola Rose and Indie by my side
Made it a no brainer to eventually decide
My Kerry, my Family, my Mom and my Nan
Donaghys, Fitzgeralds and the O’Connors are my clan,
This sums up my journey and one thing’s for sure,
In the words of John B, ‘I’m one lucky hoor’"
Fair play Kieran.
Can we now start calling him the Seamus Heaney of the GAA world?