Dr Crokes captain Daithí Casey: We’ve proven we retain hunger

A record-equalling 12th senior county title was special but Dr Crokes captain Daithí Casey says the players gleaned more satisfaction from defying those who questioned their appetite.

Dr Crokes captain Daithí Casey: We’ve proven we retain hunger

On Sunday, Crokes joined Austin Stacks and Laune Rangers at the top of the Kerry SFC roll of honour but repeating their success of last year gave the group greater pleasure, according to Casey.

“The sweetest thing is we went back-to-back because people questioned whether we would go back-to-back, whether we had the hunger to go back for it again, and that’s the biggest achievement for this group of players — that when the questions were put to us we stepped up to the plate and did it again.”

At just 27, Casey has been involved in half of Crokes’ 12 SFC title-winning campaigns. “It wasn’t something we were thinking about coming into the game,” he said of joining Rangers and Stacks at the peak. “It was just about winning but it is fantastic for the club that we draw level with Stacks and Laune Rangers.”

Meanwhile, Gavin White feels the year he has under his belt with the Kerry seniors has benefited his football. The 20-year-old impressed in Sunday’s final win over South Kerry and is fancied to make the breakthrough under Éamonn Fitzmaurice next year.

“It’s not easy breaking into the Kerry team but just the experience of it and learning nuggets from all these big players inside... every little bit helps and I think I’ve brought them into my game. That’s (Kerry) down the line and we’ll concentrate on Crokes first and see what happens after that.”

White only made his senior debut for Crokes in 2015 but has played an instrumental role in their 15 championship game unbeaten run, which they will hope to extend to 16 against Clonmel Commercials in this weekend’s Munster quarter-final.

White said: “A lot of fellas have five or six county championships under their belt, not only the Munsters and All-Ireland. Then there’s a lot of us who have only won one or two but, yes, it’s a golden period for the club.”

White also praised Crokes’ goalkeeper Shane Murphy who is also tipped to make an impression with Kerry in 2018. “Shane has everything under his belt — he has short kick-outs, long ones, medium ones, and not only that, he can come up and kick a few frees as well. We’ve massive respect for Shane and he has massive respect for us. Nothing fazes him.”

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