Sean O’Sullivan:What has Paul Galvin left to prove?

Paul Galvin

Paul Galvin’s former Kerry team-mate Sean O’Sullivan has questioned why the 35-year-old has surprisingly chosen to revive his inter-county career.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice yesterday confirmed Galvin had returned to training 13 months after he announced he was stepping away. 

Like Galvin, a four-time All-Ireland winner, O’Sullivan was one of three players who came out of retirement during Jack O’Connor’s time as manager. While Mike McCarthy and Eoin Brosnan’s re-inventions were successful, the wing forward returned in November 2011 almost two years after he stepped away only to leave a few months later.

O’Sullivan can’t understand why Galvin has come back when he has achieved so much already in the game.

“He won’t care what I or anybody say about it. All he will care about is the lads and what Fitzmaurice think. I could be wrong and I hope it works out for him. But it’s a huge decision.

“Maybe he has unfinished business but really what has he left to prove? He’s four All-Irelands, three All Stars, Munster championships. There must be something digging away at him.

"Maybe he just missed it like I did and that’s hard to get out of a man. I can’t blame him because Kerry football is an addiction. When I was deliberating about going back about 20 people told me I was mad.

"I didn’t listen and it didn’t work out for me. Was I gung-ho about it as I should have been? Did I throw in the towel too early? I don’t know.

“Kerry are after winning an All-Ireland. I’d say something if we lost a semi or final and Fitzmaurice was thinking about the extra edge. Tommy Walsh is back but maybe Fitzmaurice feels he needs more to retain the All-Ireland and losing a leader like Declan O’Sullivan leaves a void.”

Although Galvin is only gone just over a year from the panel, O’Sullivan is worried he’s not played much football since.

“The biggest thing for me in relation to Paul is when Mike Mac, Brossie and I came back, we were still playing with our clubs. Brossie was playing well with Crokes, I had a decent year with Mid Kerry and Mike Mac was still playing with Kilcummin.

"Since Paul called it a day, he hasn’t played a whole pile of football. He’s played with Lixnaw in the county and Munster hurling championships but he wasn’t regularly playing football.

“He keeps himself in impeccable shape, as anyone close to him knows, but he’s coming back into a Kerry squad with pace and intensity. I know it’s only March but it’s a big call for him and for Eamonn.”

O’Sullivan recalls when he came back, O’Connor gave him no reassurance or promises. His friend Diarmuid Murphy, a selector now as he was then, informed O’Sullivan he had been picked because it was the management’s job “to pick the most in-form players in the county”.

“But how can they say that about Paul?” asks O’Sullivan. “He’s an awful lot of ground to make up. Has he got a bit of training done already? Maybe this has been on the cards for awhile. It’s definitely thrown the cat among the pigeons.

“It’s just typical him really, but if he’s over his injuries and niggles, which, at 35, it’s hard to see how he would be, he could be a huge asset. He’s one of the mentally toughest bastards I’ve ever come across.”


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