Fitzmaurice hoping for memorable September finale

Kerry’s All-Ireland winning manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice hopes for a magnificent end to a memorable September when Lixnaw face Kilmoyley in tomorrow’s Kerry SHC final in Tralee.

Though his football exploits are well documented, Fitzmaurice also had an impressive club hurling career with Lixnaw, with his brother-in-law Paul Galvin on the panel of the Ciarán Carey trained side.

Former Limerick star Carey is in his debut season at the Lixnaw helm and is thrilled with their progress.

“It wasn’t my aim at the start of the year to get to a county final, but now that we are there, I am really looking forward to it. I came to Lixnaw, specifically to help the lads improve their hurling skills and to see if I could develop the senior team. Being in the county final is a big bonus for myself and Mark (Foley). I came to Kerry because there is Kerry blood in me and I always had a love for Kerry.

“Kilmoyley are a young team, very fit and play the game at quick pace, while we might have a few fellas who are coming to the latter end of their careers. But our lads have plenty left in the tank, Paul Galvin has been superb and once you are a top sportsman you will have the desire.

“I’m delighted with the younger lads, the way they stood up in the semi-final and I won’t be dwelling on the past (Lixnaw have lost three finals in last four years). I said this is a new team with a new manager.”

Carey’s opposite number in the Kilmoyley camp, Joe Walsh is no stranger to county finals having played in six, winning four. Walsh says the pressure has been building since the semi-finals.

“This is a new team, a young team, and some might say that the pressure is all on Lixnaw. But there is pressure here in Kilmoyley too, because once you get to a final, the people of the parish will always want you to win. There is a great tradition in the club, we won six titles in the last decade. But we made a pact with this team, not to look back but to look forward, because these young players deserve that. They are the future and they have proven themselves more than capable of carrying the mantle of this proud club. They are very determined because they were written off before the championship. Some say Lixnaw are our bogey team, but there was very little between us in 2013. Lixnaw are a tough and experienced team and but if our lads perform on Sunday – we will be delighted.”

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