Kieran Donaghy's decision to stay on makes perfect sense - he's still one of the best 3 years ago

Kieran Donaghy's decision to stay on makes perfect sense - he's still one of the best

There aren't many full forwards anymore.

Like a proper full forward, a number 14. The best of them, the best you'd name, all play along that line - they roam deep if they have to but, in a traditional sense, not many full backs are going out knowing they're going to have a war on their hands at the edge of their own square.

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With Kieran Donaghy, you front up to the battle, you stand your ground, or the alternative is to crumble. There's no in between. There's no diplomacy. It's always war and there are always victims.

And he'll plot your destruction from anywhere too. Bombs will drop from the sky and he'll be up there to manipulate them but never has a big man also kept open a supply line on the ground as effectively and as often as he has been able to do. Then, when he faces up to you and looks you in the eye, he chooses whether or not he's going to run over the top of you, if he'll lay in someone else to strike the killer blow or sell you a trick, leave your head spinning and knock you out mid-confusion.

As threats to a county's core go, Kieran Donaghy is multi-dimensional, multi-talented and multi levels of ruthless.

He's 35 in March and, around that time or even long before, questions start circulating about the longevity of players.

Because you're a certain age, you should be in line for retirement - or that's what people say at least - but why the hell would Kieran Donaghy retire when he's still so good?

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The same went for Andy Moran. He's reached his 30s and the talk is the same, even this year, even after he won Footballer of the Year. At least wait for some sort of decline before you start even thinking about that decision.

Thankfully, for the good of Kerry and, honestly, for the good of football, Kieran Donaghy is staying on.

The Stacks man confirmed to Kieran Shannon in an interview with the Irish Examiner that he will play for Kerry in 2018 and Kingdom Gaels and neutrals should breathe a sigh of relief.

He's still so obviously not just in the top three full forward options in Kerry but he's still has one of the biggest impacts on the game of anyone throughout the whole country. Teams still worry about Donaghy, they worry about him so much that boys like Aidan O'Shea get pulled from half forward to watch him. He's a terrifying threat and he's a character.

The game, for the good of competitiveness needs him, but they also need those personalities that have the country talking throughout the summer.

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It's also a nod to Éamonn Fitzmaurice, the work he has done and the plans he has for Kerry football in the season coming. On The GAA Hour, Johnny Buckley spoke of his excitement that the management team remained in place.

"Éamonn is top class and I'm delighted that him and the management team are back involved," Buckley said.

"The teams seem to be getting stronger and stronger each year. I know that [for 2018] with the plans put in place, there'll be one huge effort from everyone so I'd be hoping we'd be close enough to getting back up there."

With Kieran Donaghy still knocking about, the chances of Kerry making the Hogan Stand steps increase. That's how important he is. Still.