A decade on, Carr sorry for blasting Fitzgerald

FORMER Dublin boss Tommy Carr admits he regrets shouting at Maurice Fitzgerald as he readied himself to take what proved to be his wonder equalising point in the 2001 All-Ireland quarter-final replay.

With seconds left in Thurles, sub Fitzgerald punted the most extraordinary sideline kick to earn Páidí Ó Sé’s side another day out, which they won.

The Caherciveen man did so despite the close attentions of Carr who, standing just yards away, attempted to intimidate him.

The ex-Cavan and Roscommon boss concedes it wasn’t his proudest moment.

“Too much has been made of it but I shouldn’t have done it,” he acknowledged. “I’m not under any illusions about that.

“We all do things wrong and I’m not happy with everything I did as a player or as a manager.

“Was those one of the times when I did something right? Absolutely not.”

Carr has nothing but praise for the manner in which Fitzgerald kicked the booming point with the outside of his boot.

“We had Kerry beaten but we didn’t have Maurice Fitzgerald beaten,” he smiled. “He was the only person on the pitch who could have done something like that and he did it. I’ve fond memories of that Dublin team. They were mad to play football, they didn’t choke. They weren’t the most talented group but they were no prima donnas.”

Carr, much to the chagrin of the players, was unceremoniously dropped as manager later that year and replaced by Tommy Lyons, who led Dublin to an All-Ireland semi-final.

After pushing Kerry so close, would Carr have been able to have made a better fist of it with another season in charge?

“You don’t know. There might have been too much pressure on the team to follow up on 2001. There might have been too much focus on them. We were bringing in the youth. We had Alan Brogan playing in one of the league games.

“So many things could have, should have and would have happened for us.”

Carr reckons Dublin on Sunday stand a better chance of pulling off a first championship win over Kerry since 1977, even more than that of the 2001 team.

He even ventures to say the GAA would benefit from a win for Pat Gilroy’s side.

“Oh, they are in a much better position than we were. Having said that, I think Kerry should win it but I would love Dublin to win it. The GAA needs them to win it and for so many players who have given such a huge service to the cause it would be a just reward.”

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