‘Surprised’ Stephen O’Brien says Paul Galvin won’t get special treatment

Kerry forward Stephen O’Brien doesn’t know what look the famously dapper Paul Galvin was sporting on his surprise comeback to the Kingdom senior football panel on Tuesday night, but he welcomed the veteran’s return as strengthening the All-Ireland champions squad.

“When I arrived he was togged out, I don’t know what he was wearing,” said O’Brien.

“Marc Ó Sé was looking for an autograph off him and a selfie, there was a bit of banter alright.

“We got a text on the way down last night that Paul was going to be at training, that he was making a comeback.

“It was as much a surprise to us as anybody else.”

O’Brien doesn’t expect Galvin to get preferential treatment from manager Eamon Fitzmaurice: “Eamon’s certainly proved that it doesn’t matter who people are, if they have no pedigree and they’re playing well they’ll play, and if someone isn’t playing well they’ll be dropped.

“It’ll be no different for Paul.”

O’Brien said Galvin had more time to devote to preparation for Kerry this season compared to 2014, when he retired in early February from inter-county football.

“It’s a huge honour to play for Kerry and I’d imagine it was hard for Paul last year when he walked away, to see us playing,” said O’Brien.

“He wasn’t in a position to give the commitment — professionally he was busy, he was writing a book and so on, and my understanding is that he’s happy with those things now.

“The way with Paul anyway it’s either 100% or nothing. If he can give 100% this year, fair play to him.

“You know coming in with Kerry that the competition is going to be intense, he’s another name, more competition, but it’s something to look forward to, it’s all for the betterment of Kerry football, which is the main thing.”

Meanwhile, though social media crackled with suggestions that Noel O’Leary would emulate Galvin and return to the fold for Cork, yesterday Cork footballer Mark Collins laughed off speculation that the Fingue man’s old rival would make a comeback to face his former sparring partner.

“I don’t know if Noel will be coming back! Look, it’s exciting for the championship and that, Paul is a big character within the GAA, and if we met them in Killarney in the summer it’d be great excitement to have him there, especially for the fans.”


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