Tommy Walsh: ‘I Knew David Moran Had Games Like That In Him’

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Former Kerry star Tommy Walsh.

HE may be on the other side of the world, but former Kerry star Tommy Walsh felt the tension of last weekend’s Kerry V Mayo game just as much as any Kingdom fan.

Tommy, who is over in Australia playing for Sydney Swans, said he was delighted especially for his former club team-mates David Moran and Barry John Keane, as well as his ‘Twin Tower’, Kieran Donaghy, when spoke to him on the phone about the match on Friday afternoon.

So what did the Kerins O’Rahillys man make of the game?

“It was on at 2am over here but I stayed up and watched it. It was a great game the way it ebbed and flowed. At one stage Mayo were seven points up and you’d be worried that they’d kick on from there, but the boys responded well. Every time it was put up to them they came back.

It was a great performance all over the field and the guys that came on did well, so it was fantastic to see them get into another final,” said Tommy.

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His old team-mate and friend, David Moran, had a cracking game.

“I suppose growing up with him I knew that he was capable of that sort of game. But through luck, injuries and dips in form, he wasn’t able to show that, but the people that know him best know  that he is capable of that performance and it’s great to see him produce it on that stage. I think he got confidence after the way he performed in the Galway game. He had another good game in the drawn match and everything came together on Saturday.

“He got forty-something possessions, so to get that in a Gaelic football game is incredible. He did everything; he tracked back, he drove forward and his distribution was very good.”

I suggested that to come back strong a double cruciate must be difficult psychologically as well as  physically.

“It wasn’t just the injuries to the knees. He had an eye injury, he broke his thumb – I mean he’s not the only player that had to deal with injuries – but it seemed at times he had a lot going against him. But he kept plugging away, kept his head down and it worked out for him in the end.”

“I suppose being his friend and a team-mate for so long, to see him do that, I was just delighted for him,” he said.

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Fellow Kerins O’Rahilly’s man, Barry John Keane, also played his part.

“Barry’s a great footballer and he’s been doing very well, particularly the drawn game. I think he’s proved he’s capable of playing at the highest level so hopefully he’ll get his chance again against Donegal.”

And his old partner in the Kerry full-forward line, Kieran Donaghy, is shining again?

“Yeah, I think earlier this year he had problems with his groin, but he kept plugging away. From what I’ve been hearing, his attitude has been very good. I think for the older guys, when they’re put on the bench they can get cranky but it’s a testament to him the way he has handled it and he’s got his reward in the end. Everyone knows how good a footballer he is and it’s great to see him have another good spell now.”

And now for Donegal…

“They were very impressive and I think they’ll go into the game as favourites, which is a different position for them. Jim McGuinness and Eamonn Fitzmaurice are two very tactical managers so it’ll be fascinating to see what happens on the day,” he said.

Tommy, who plays in a Swans reserve final against the Northern Territory this weekend, won’t be back in Ireland for the game in a few weeks, but he’ll watch it in Sydney.

“I can’t make it back but one of the newspapers here is setting up a live screening so I’ll watch it there,” he said.

Let’s hope it’s as good a game as last Saturday’s.


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