Dingle right where they deserve to be, says Moriarty

Dr Crokes will be warm favourites in tomorrow’s Kerry SFC final, but you’ll need to look west for romance.

Dingle come looking for a first senior title since 1948, and manager Murt Moriarty is frank about his team’s chances, particularly as the men from the peninsula have only been playing senior football since 2006.

“I took over in 2009 and to be honest, it is a four year project and we are exactly where we want to be.

“When you start off in the championship, your aim is to get to the final and we are delighted to be here.

“We were promoted to Division One and we view the county league as a hugely important competition. Players get to play against quality opposition consistently.

“That first year was one of consolidation and young players came onto the team. We feel we are where we deserve to be.”

While Dingle might not have impressed in early outings against Gneeveguilla and Kilcummin, Moriarty feels they matured as the championship has gone on.

“After being well up against Feale Rangers, they got close to us, so it was fierce important for us to come through that game.

“Then in the semi-final we got the goals that counted against a strong St Kieran’s team. I would think that we were outsiders against both Feale Rangers and St Kieran’s but the lads showed great character and that is what has pleased me most.”

Moriarty is honest about tomorrow’s opponents: “I have huge respect or Dr Crokes. They are the flagbearers for the county over the last number of years and were ferociously unlucky not to have won an All-Ireland.

“No doubt that they are hugely difficult to beat and they are not hot favourites for nothing. The last two matches we played were 50/50 games and they all turned on little incidents. That is our hope Sunday and that we continue to get that rub of the green. I don’t think that the big occasion will get to the players, they appear to be very relaxed. We are treating the final as another game, it won’t change what we do and I will get my team out on the field at quarter past three the next day in as good a form as I possibly can. That is my job and my focus.”

The final has been the sole topic of conversation in the town in recent days, adds the manager. “Winning on Sunday would mean the world to the club, the players and the people of Dingle. It’s such a long time to be waiting for county final success and it would vindicate the decision in early 2006 to go senior, after we won the county intermediate championship in 2005.”

The club chairman Micheal Ó Conchúir concurs.

“This is a fantastic occasion for us,” he said. “Dingle has had a long wait for this so it means everything really and it is the pinnacle of Kerry football and it is the highest place that we can go to and that is what it means to us. We have six county senior championship titles and that puts us in the top 10 teams with regards to winning but you have to go back as far as 1948 for the last one and that is an awful long time. So obviously we have been there before and are capable of doing it again”.

Ó Conchúir believes that Dingle have been edging closer to the ultimate prize, having lost a league final in 2011 and an SFC semi-final in 2010 to Austin Stacks.

“When you look at those games we were not that far away. They are bringing that extra bit of belief in themselves to the table this time around.

“Maybe we did not start well in those games but I believe that they are really up for it now and the key is to get into the game early. They certainly can be beaten and there is no question about that. If we get an early goal or two, you can shake the confidence in any team in that situation. We are definitely capable of winning this.”

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