Eamonn Fitzmaurice: ‘What goes on outside the camp is noise to us’

Eamonn Fitzmaurice: 'James O'Donoghue is back to full fitness.'

Eamonn Fitzmaurice believes the strong presence of former Kerry footballers serving as columnists in the national media isn’t favourable towards his squad.

The Kerry manager was responding to comments made by Tipperary boss Liam Kearns who claimed Irish Examiner columnist Michael Quirke and The Irish Times columnist Darragh Ó Sé had displayed a blasé attitude towards Tipperary following their win over Cork and had basically written them off going into the Munster final.

“First of all, what goes on outside the camp is outside our control. That is noise to us,” Fitzmaurice said last night.

“That is not something that affects our preparation, be it positive or negative. It is just something that goes on out there and is part of the game. The second thing I would say is that we have a strong Kerry presence in the national media, and in the media in general.

“I think, at times, people think when the lads are writing their articles that what they are saying is what we are saying and it is two very different things. An individual’s opinion and what is going on inside the camp is very different. As part of that, there is probably a perception out there that because of that presence in the media, that we control the control the conversation a bit and that it is favourable towards Kerry. I actually think the opposite. With the lads, if they are not giving insight into the way we do things or we think about things, they are giving motivation to the opposition so I don’t think it helps us at all.

“With regard to Liam, he is obviously going to use whatever bit of motivation he can for his squad. I don’t think there was much in those articles myself to be honest.

“If that gives his group an extra couple of percent motivation, sure of course he will use it. He probably understands that isn’t going to be our attitude. When you see comments like that, it sharpens your focus. You are going to be even more determined that there will be no complacency there.”

Fitzmaurice confirmed that James O’Donoghue has returned to full fitness and is in contention for selection for the July 3 decider.

Alan Fitzgerald (back injury) will miss the fixture.

“We are delighted James is back.

“Other injuries have cleared up also which has strengthened the squad. We need our full squad if we are going to be winning trophies.”


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