All-Star Kerry midfielder David Moran has admitted he “struggled a good bit” to come to terms with last September’s crushing All-Ireland final replay defeat by Dublin.
The ultra-experienced Tralee man was a key figure in the game’s turning point just moments into the second-half when Eoin Murchan escaped him for a memorable solo goal.
The game was level at half-time but Dublin remained ahead after Murchan’s goal and eventually secured a six-point win to secure the fabled five in a row.
In a wide-ranging interview organised by Benetti Menswear, Moran spoke of the difficulty of coming to terms with the loss and touched on a series of other key moments from his career including his injury struggles.
“I would say I struggled a good bit,” said Moran of the All-Ireland setback. “You’re playing back different incidents in the game.
"You’re playing them back and saying: ‘What was I doing here? What was I doing there?’ or: ‘Why didn’t I do that?’ You’re just constantly trying to see: ‘Why did I do that?’ It’s inevitable that you’ll be replaying it over.
I lost the 2008 final, I lost the 2015 final, I lost a minor final and you’re there after this year’s final and you’re saying: ‘Was I like this every other time?’ And you were.
Moran flicked the ball forwards from the throw-up against Dublin but Murchan collected possession and raced upfield for a remarkable solo goal with Moran hot on his heels but unable to thwart the speedy defender.
“I think if it was another half mile I still probably wouldn’t have caught him,” grimaced Moran.
“It was a great start for them. We probably got ourselves in a good position at half-time. And because of the way the drawn game went you were saying: ‘Okay, we’re in good shape at half-time, we have a lot of good guys to come in off the bench’, things were going well.
"But yeah, it didn’t work out as good. Obviously the goal was a sickener, for me personally and for Kerry as well. But sure look, these things happen, that’s football.”
Moran, son of eight-time All-Ireland winner Denis ‘Ogie’ Moran, recalled in the interview how his career was frustratingly curtailed by serious injuries between 2011 and 2013.
He suffered two cruciate knee ligament setbacks and then a worrying torn retina during a challenge game against Laois.
Moran initially turned to colleague Aidan O’Mahony and asked: ‘Is my eye open?’ because he couldn’t see. He went straight to hospital in Cork and admitted it was a “scary” time that cost him several more months of activity.
“It was funny because I was inside in the (hospital), the room is real dark so they can do all the testing and stuff and that song,is playing in the background and I was like: ‘This couldn’t be more appropriate!’” said Moran.
“It was funny because it was obviously painful, the trauma and stuff, but after that it was just I couldn’t really see and I was doing a lot of exams at that time.
"You’d have floaters and dots and you’d just keep looking around the room but I was lucky, I was lucky, it could have been way worse. I pretty much have full sight in it.”