Peter Keane was in a buoyant yet brazen mood, to say the least, following his side’s win over Tyrone in yesterday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final.
Obviously, very happy having seen his side come out on top when for so long they were arguably second best but clearly prepared to play his cards close to his chest as he answered back in jest and told anecdotal stories when pressed on the matters at hand.
When asked about the prospect of facing the five-in-a-row chasing Dubs in three weeks time, Keane was predictably coy when discussing Jim Gavin’s side.
“Yeah, sure look, we came here today, the plan is to try and win the game and we’ll worry about that tomorrow. There wasn’t much point getting hung up on the Dubs last night. We’ll take one game at a time, I’m telling ye that all year, I’m beginning to sound bored myself hearing it, but that is the reality. There’s no point getting carried away with something, we’ll worry about that tomorrow and the day after.”
Kerry went into Sunday’s game off the back of a highly-publicised semi-final involving Dublin and Mayo a day prior which saw the All-Ireland champions turn a two-point deficit into a 10-point lead with twelve minutes of scintillating football.
The Kingdom manager was steadfast in his admission that he had not seen Dublin’s dismantling on Saturday evening before turning to Croke Park stadium announcer, Jerry Grogan, and relaying an anecdote he shared earlier this year.
“No. Sure there was no point. We were worried about ourselves. There was no point in spending time worrying about something … I think I told a couple of ye a story below in Dungarvan earlier on in the year about learning how to drive, and that’s the same thing. There’s no point worrying about the crossroads ten miles down the road …”
Keane turned to Jerry Grogan and continued:
“I was telling them a story earlier on in the year about my father teaching me to drive. Jerry is from Caherciveen, my home town. We were going out around The Point’s Cross. Normally we turn at the creamery and head back from Portmagee to Valentia. I suppose somewhere around The Point’s Cross I was asking questions about some turn further out the road and he chewed me. That there’s not much point worrying about that until we get there. The same applies here – it’s game by game.”
By the time the press conference had drawn to a close, the mood in the room was quite jovial as Keane laughed along with members of the media and extended his time in the room to share an anecdotal quip about his goalkeeper Shane Ryan before outlining exactly what his charges will do when they come back to Dublin in three weeks time looking to prevent history from happening.
“I left the dressing-room below and Shane Ryan was on the phone to Gerard Murphy of Vincent Murphy’s Sports in Castleisland. His biggest problem was would he get two pairs of boots or three pairs of boots because he’d have the boots worn out so much from kicking the ball out to Dublin. That is going to be the biggest problem.
“We’ll come up in three weeks and we’ll do our best.”