‘His heroics will never be forgotten’

Eamonn Fitzmaurice believes Paul Galvin has the management skills to be a Kerry manager at some stage.

The Kingdom head coach led tributes last night to 34-year-old Galvin, who has announced his time in the green and gold is at an end.

“He has the personality and the understanding of the game to be a manager,” said Fitzmaurice yesterday. “He had a fantastic career, winning everything in the game. Paul’s passion for Kerry was obvious to everyone every time he took to the field. His best trait is his honesty which meant he was a great team-mate and very important in our dressing room.”

After breaking into Jack O’Connor’s squad in 20004, Galvin went from hard working wing forward to the best in the business at winning breaking ball.

Said Fitzmaurice, pictured: “Paul had a massive desire to keep improving himself and because of this constant pursuit of excellence, his game evolved over his career as he developed into a key creative player. He worked very hard on his conditioning and on his football to be the best and is a great example to our younger players of how ambition and belief, combined with hard work, pays off.

“Paul was excellent to deal with from the management side of things. What could have been a potentially awkward situation for us (as brothers-in-law) never was and I’m very thankful to him for that. I wish him the best in all his future endeavours. His spirit, drive and most of all his winning mentality will be missed. His heroics in the Kerry jersey will never be forgotten.”

Galvin, 34, announced his decision to hang up his boots on Saturday after winning four All-Ireland titles, seven Munsters, two National League crowns, three All Stars and the 2009 footballer of the year.

After 55 Championship and 54 league appearances for the Kingdom, Galvin wrote on his website: “I would like to sincerely thank the Kerry County Board and Kerry Group for their support over the years, the four managers I played under for placing their faith in me, my family, and of course, the proud Kerry supporters who demanded our best at all times. There were days when you played with us too.

“More importantly I want to thank all my team-mates for your heart and friendship over the years. Standing my ground with you in the Kerry jersey was my privilege. I learned more from you than anyone and I am grateful for the opportunity I got to play with some of the best players to ever play the game.

“Having discussed it with the management during the week we felt it best to announce it after tonight’s (Saturday’s) game.

“Finally I want to thank Eamon (Fitzmaurice) and wish him, the management team and my brothers on the Kerry team the very best luck for 2014. I am proud to say I won All Irelands for Kerry and I am satisfied that I gave the cause everything I had in me.”

Reacting to his decision, Darran O’Sullivan wrote on Twitter: “Gutted to see another Kerry legend bowing out. Absolute pleasure soldiering with him since 2005. One of the most committed, skilful and passionate players I’ve seen play the game... A very proud Kerry man and I’m delighted to say one of my good friends... best of luck bud.”

Added 2009 colleague Tadhg Kennelly: “Most honest footballer I ever played with, always played with so much passion & bleeds Green & gold. Best roommate ever.”


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