Fitness and morale the cornerstonesof Kerry victory

The team spirit within the Kerry panel at the moment does not look like anything David Moran has experienced in his 14 seasons in green and gold.

The longtime Kerry midfielder paid tribute to the team ethic of Peter Keane’s group, citing the close nature of the panel as a factor in the county’s seven-game unbeaten run.

“The team spirit of the team, I’m not sure I’ve been part of a team with such a team twos,” said the 33-year-old.

“Some guys come in, some start. I’ve been taken off in a lot of games this year and I didn’t give out. Jack [Barry] came out today, he could have been on. I think the team is bigger than that at the moment.

“It’s just a close-knit group. Winning also helps. Fellas seems to be moving forward. I’m not quite sure where [team spirit] comes from, but it’s good so far. ”

Moran paid tribute to the first-team starters Paudie Clifford and Mike Breen – the former man who played here – Moran said the pair have been “phenomenal” so far.

“They have shown massive leadership. They have been very calm. But the reality is, they will be judged from here on out. ”

The two-time All-Ireland winner expressed satisfaction with how Kerry raised their performance after a effort in the first quarter that simply did not reach the standards they have set for themselves.

“We would be very happy with three quarters of that. Of course, we were very disappointed in the first quarter.

“We knew that the first waterfall had not gone according to plan. We came and knew we wanted to start how we were done, but it did not happen. Luckily we got there eventually. I suppose you can not win, and that is what we have done so far. We are in a semi-final now and we are looking forward to that. ”

Looking forward to their All-Ireland semi-final in three weeks – this weekend on 14/15. August – Moran said he very much prefers a shorter introduction to their penultimate round clash against the winners of the Tyrone-Monaghan Ulster final.

“Two weeks is absolutely ideal. You spend half a week recovering and then you fly again for two or three sessions, that’s perfect timing.

“Three weeks, it’s longer. If I had a choice, I would choose two weeks. That was what we got into the last two games. ”

Manager Peter Keane, meanwhile, revealed his confidence that Kerry’s fitness would cause them to break down a Cork team that had begun in a purposeful way.

“We were a bit sloppy in the first quarter. We had a few turnovers and the turnaround cost us. Our tackling was poor, we were off pace and we needed to get to the pace.

“One of the things we have done this year, we have pushed our fitness a lot this year.

“We were convinced that our fitness would win out, that we would carry that game while it went,” said the Reich boss. “It’s great to win. Winning the Munster Championship in a year where you have no safety net, it allows you to advance to an All-Ireland semi-final, and that’s what we’re looking forward to now. ”

No more than Moran, Keane also touched on the “enormous sense of unity” in his camp.

“There is a huge work ethic in the team. Perhaps that work ethic was a bit off pace early in the first quarter.

“It’s something when I came into 2019, it’s something we worked towards. We have a large group of people, we have a good back room and everyone is here and they all work very hard. ”

Keane said Diarmuid O’Connor’s replacement in the first half was enforced with injury, while at the same time noting that absent Dara Moynihan was not ready for involvement here.

“We are working on him,” he said of the latter.

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