Kerry’s 2014 footballer of the year James O’Donoghue has announced his retirement from the inter-county scene.
The 31-year-old, who left the squad last year and was not part of Jack O’Connor’s training panel, confirmed to Off The Ball’s “The Football Pod” that he has played his last game of football for the county.
“It’s all over, it’s all over bar the shouting," said the two-time All-Star. "Last year, I was fighting an uphill battle. Realistically, I stepped away from the panel just before the going got very serious because I wasn’t really contributing.
“I told them at that stage that I was retiring but because Kerry were going too well, we decided not to put out a statement and throw all the good vibes out of the camp. So we just kept it under wraps. It’s a painful one, it’s definitely something that’s going to be hard, but it’s the right thing.”
Despite his initial intention to quit, the Legion man attempted a comeback but he was once again stymied by injury. O’Donoghue had surgery on both shoulders in 2015 while he had been riddled with lower limb problems in recent years.
“I know Jack well, very well and have always got on great with him, and I know that if I was right, I could have picked up the phone and rang him and said ‘I’m thinking about changing my mind, what do you think?’
“I actually did give a go at getting into very good nick for it, just to see if I could give it one last go, but do you know what - my body wasn’t up to it. I’ll go back to the club now, tailor my programme and I guarantee you that I might not see another injury, just the slight drop in intensity might suit me. If I was right I could have picked up the phone and we’d have had a chat, but it just didn’t feel right.”
O’Donoghue replaces Andy Moran on "The Football Pod" and his full interview can be accessed here: https://www.otbsports.com/podcasts/otb-gaa-on-off-the-ball/the-football-pod-james-o-donoghue-retires-from-kerry-joins-the-football-pod