Dublin legend Jimmy Keaveney says Paul Galvin can join him in the elite group of players to have won All-Ireland titles after emerging from retirement.
Keaveney famously helped himself to three winners’ medals after being coaxed out of retirement by Dubs boss Kevin Heffernan in the 1970s.
Hurling icon DJ Carey achieved the same feat with Kilkenny while Brian Corcoran won back to back All-Irelands with Cork in 2004 and 2005.
At 35, time isn’t on Galvin’s side though Keaveney sees no reason why the four-time All-Ireland winner can’t add at least one more Celtic Cross to his collection.
“If he wants it badly enough, then he can win more,” said Keaveney. “If you’re fit enough and you’re good enough, there’s no reason you should stay on the outside looking in. You’ll only regret it later in life.
“Paul obviously feels he’s doing the right thing. Going on what I’ve heard, he hasn’t put on much weight, is keeping fit and has the hunger for it. So fair play to him.”
All-Ireland holders Kerry have already been boosted by the return of Tommy Walsh from Australian Rules for 2015. And when Colm Cooper, Darran O’Sullivan and James O’Donoghue are fully fit they’ll have an impressive attacking unit.
“I think Kerry are going to be difficult to stop this year,” said Keaveney. “With the ‘Gooch’ coming back and Paul there now, it’s going to be some team that beats them.
“But I still think that Dublin are going to be there or thereabouts. You wouldn’t bet against it coming down to the two of them.”
With such an arsenal of attacking talent, it remains to be seen where Kerry will utilise Galvin. He made his name as a tireless worker in the half-forward line but was being lined up as a half-back before retiring last year.
“If I was a Kerry man, I know where I’d prefer to see him and that’s in the forward line,” said Keaveney. “It all depends on what he’s like as a half-back and how it works out, he probably hasn’t had a huge amount of football there. The other thing is there’s huge competition in the forwards. If he wants to play there he’s going to have to really knuckle down but, for me, if he’s 90 or 95% there, he’ll be an asset.”
Keaveney recalled how he had no intention of returning to play for Dublin himself despite going on to win All-Irelands in 1974, 1976 and 1977.
“I Played for the guts of 10 years from 1964 and the best we did was a Leinster win,” he said. “I captained Dublin in ‘67 and got to a league final but I was getting more enjoyment out of club football and hurling. I decided to call it a day but then Kevin Heffernan asked me back. He was going to get his way one way or the other so I gave in and said, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a go’. It was a great decision.”
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