All Star duo gear up to show football skills

Newly-crowned hurling All Stars Paul Murphy and Richie Hogan will have less than 48 hours to celebrate their individual awards before returning to club duty tomorrow.

But it will be club duty with a twist as the hurling icons are expected to compete in the lower reaches of the Leinster club football championship with junior hopefuls Danesfort.

Danesfort are actually Kilkenny intermediate champions but compete at the junior grade in Leinster and take on Milltown of Westmeath.

Danesfort selector Maurice Woodcock said that both Murphy and Hogan are fully expected to be involved in the tie in Mullingar.

He said that no restrictions were put on the duo in terms of their All Star celebrations following last night’s Convention Centre ceremony in Dublin but that they are expected to show up like everyone else tomorrow.

“That’s the plan, for sure, they’ve been training away with us so we’ll be hoping they’ll be there and involved,” said Woodcock.

“They’re both very good players and enjoy the football so it’s great to have them.

“Paul would have played a bit more than Richie, he’s strong and runs very well with the ball but Richie would bring plenty to it as well in fairness.”

AllStar hurling defender Murphy’s kicking from placed balls was decisive when the Ted Walsh managed Danesfort beat Dicksboro by a point in the county final, converting a couple of 45s into the wind.

“You could probably play Paul anywhere, we haven’t picked the team for Sunday yet but he could be up front or wherever you need him really,” said Woodcock. “He’d be capable of playing county football at a higher level for sure.” That outlet doesn’t exist in Kilkenny though and a further sign of football being the poor relation of hurling is that the intermediate final which Danesfort won was played last April.

That’s over half a year between playing the county final and competing in the provincial championship this weekend, a game they are unsurprisingly expected to be defeated in.

“The boys did a bit of training in the meantime but it was only really when we were beaten in the senior hurling championship that we could get it going properly again,” said Woodcock.

“Football does continue to be the poor relation in Kilkenny but we’re enjoying this, we’re away on the bus on Sunday for a game in the Leinster championship and it’s an occasion for everyone.

“We’re very much aware that we’re flying the flag for Kilkenny so we want to do as well as we can.”

Army man Murphy collected his fourth AllStar award in five seasons last night while Hogan won his third award having also been Hurler of the Year for 2014.

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