Paul Murphy named Kerry senior football captain for 2021

The Rathmore man takes over from David Clifford
Paul Murphy named Kerry senior football captain for 2021

Paul Murphy is the longest-serving East Kerry player on the Kerry panel having made his debut in 2014 when Kerry won their last All-Ireland SFC title. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Rathmore's Paul Murphy will replace his East Kerry colleague David Clifford as Kerry senior football captain this year.

East Kerry has won the honour of picking the Kerry captain for the past two seasons as back-to-back county champions and this time nominated Murphy to take over from the young Fossa star. 

Murphy was not on the East Kerry side that bridged a 20-year gap since their last county title in 2019 as Rathmore, who were relegated that season, were still competing in the senior grade but was a key addition for their title defence last year. 

Murphy is the longest-serving East Kerry player on the Kerry panel having made his debut in 2014 when Kerry won their last All-Ireland SFC title.

The 29-year-old is considered a leader in the dressing room and had a brief stint as captain previously when he skippered Kerry during the 2019 League campaign. This came about as then champions Dr Crokes decided not to nominate a captain until after their players were finished with their All-Ireland Club campaign but indicated they would like the captain to be from another East Kerry club, with Murphy getting the nod from management.

The man of the match in Kerry’s 2014 All-Ireland victory over Donegal, Murphy has, injuries aside, been ever-present on the Kerry starting team since then. 

With the experience of playing in four All-Ireland finals, including the 2019 replay, Murphy's leadership will be crucial for Kerry as they pick up the pieces from their chastening loss to Cork last November.

It's also believed that manager Peter Keane has added reinforcements to his backroom team in Gavin Rackard, Connacht Rugby’s performance nutritionist, and Kevin Beasley, who was the squad’s nutritionist during Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s tenure. 

The appointment of a new coach is also close to being sorted. Paul Galvin’s name is still top of the list while it’s also speculated that Cork-based Kerry native Kieran Cronin may also be given a role in a revamped backroom team.

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