Here we go again back on a wonderful journey

January 27th, 2015
by Weeshie Fogarty

And so as the fellow said, "here we go again' another year on the road following the Kingdom on their league campaign. It never gets wearisome, never gets boring or dull but always exciting and stimulating and always so much to look forward to and the coming season as always promises a lot. However one thing is certain and I can only speak for myself here, following last years poor league displays and the same the previous year when the whole county was wondering about where Kerry was going this year the Kerry supporters will I firmly believe be laughing all the way to Croke Park.

The amazing and wonderful voyage to win the All Ireland last year literally stunned the football world because everyone outside the team and mentors had written Kerry off completely so pathetic was their league displays. And here now I am going to hold up my hands, cringe and eat humble pie. I refer to what I penned here last April following Kerrys hammering by Cork in the Tralee game, and I quote.

"This was the heaviest defeat ever inflicted by Cork on a Kerry side since the 1990 Munster final demolition, (2-23 to 1-11). This was a humiliating beating, make no mistake about it and certainly copper fastens the fact which I have been expounding here for the last few weeks that this is a Kerry team in transition. And the fact that Kerrys four losses in the earlier stages of the league came at the hands of Mayo, Dublin, Derry just emphasizes the fact that they with Cork and being in the league semi-finals have moved that step ahead of Kerry in their development and there is a lot of catching up to be done. Last Sunday in that second half there was not one redeeming feature; however hope springs eternal in the world of Kerry football but for me the memories of those under age defeats by Cork in the past decade worries most of all".

I often have visions of Eamon Fitzmaurice and his back room team sitting down somewhere having a quite pint and laughing heartily at the likes of myself and all the other so called analysts both in the print, radio and TV who repeatedly castigated their teams displays stating that Kerry "were in transition", of course we all know now with the benefit of hind sight that Kerry just don't transition, end of story.

So the bottom line for the coming league journey will be so different from last year. Listen carefully to the great Kerry supporters as they leave the grounds around the country following the matches. Catch phrase I bet will be, "remember what happened last year". We are told that Eamon will be without seven of his All Ireland starting fifteen for next Sundays game, but that is a blessing in itself as it gives the so called fringe men an opportunity to show their ability.

Will we see another little diamond like Paul Murphy uncovered, the return of Colm Cooper and Tommy Walsh will grab all the national headlines and we will bemoan the loss of the great Declan o Sullivan who in a magnificent career scored something like 8-56 in fifty seven league games in the green and gold. His heart, skill and never say die spirit will be missed in those far away out post where the league will bring Kerry. And hopefully I will be on the road for most of these games reporting here each week but what better way to begin the campaign than to look back at the counties top scorers down the years, food for thought and top of the list is one of the games greatest every players, Mick o Dwyer.

A remarkable scoring rate for a man who began his league career as a defender. Mick played his first national league game for Kerry against Carlow in Tralee in 1956 at wing back; Kerry won 0-9 to 0-6. His league career came to an end in Killarney with a defeat to Cork in 1973.

Mick o Dwyer,        93games-16-291
Mickey Sheehy      74 games-22-251
Maurice Fitzgerald 62 games-11-237
Dara o Cinneide    68 games-11-180
Bryan Sheehan     51games-6-175
Colm Cooper        52 games-11-140
Jack o Shea         102 games-16-110
Brendan Lynch     56 games-11-124
Mick o Connell     73 games-7-131
Pat Spillane         81 games-13-103

Fogra; October 19th 1952 in Ballina,-Mayo 2-6, Kerry 0-3

The first round of the National League began with a loss. Kerry played seven games that year and avenged the loss to Mayo later in March in Tralee with a 2-5 to 0-9 victory; it was home and away back then. Cavan ended the Kingdoms run in Croke Park with a 3-6 to 2-5 win in the semi-final. And that Kerry side which began the league against Mayo.

Leo Stack (Duagh), Jas Murphy (Kerins o Rahillys), Jerome o Shea ( St Mary's Caherceiveen), Pat Colgan (Austin Stacks), Jerome Spillane (Templenoe 0-1), Sean Lovett (Kilmoyle), Micksie Palmer(Kenmare), Brendan o Shea (St Brendan's), Tom Costello (Duagh), Paudie Sheehy (John Mitchels), Jim Brosnan (Moyvane 0-1), Tadghie Lyne (Dr Crokes 0-1), Michael Galvin (Austin Stacks), Dinny Falvey (Kerins o Rahillys), Freddie Murphy (Killarney Legion). Sub Tim Healy, (Killarney) 0-1),

Other players who participated in that league campaign sixty three long years ago included Gerald o Sullivan, Jackie Lyne, Tommy Cooper (Goalkeeper), Tom Moriarty, Colm Kennelly, Sean Kelly, Dermot Dillon, Joe Kerins, Tom Ash, Billy Enright, Thomas Murphy, Donal "Marcus" o Neill.

Paudie Sheehy topped the scoring list for the league with 1-21, Tadghie Lyne, 1-11 and Sean Kelly, 3-2.

Radio Kerry - The Voice of the Kingdom