Front Row Seat – Welcome to the Club

Today should have seen Donegal make the trip to Kerry for an Allianz Football League Division 1 game, but with sport on hold we’ve asked our own Kerryman Brendan Moran to take a trip down memory lane for a look back at the time the two sides clashed in the All-Ireland Final of 2014.

“The best memory I have from the 2014 All-Ireland Senior Football Final is being in the Kerry dressing room after the game.”

“Usually photographers aren’t allowed into the dressing room afterwards but Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice invited me in to take some photographs for the players. Obviously I jumped at the chance!”

“To be in a victorious Kerry dressing room after an All-Ireland Final with the Sam Maguire, it’s what every Kerry boy dreams of growing up!”

“My own football career ended fairly early in secondary school …. other than the fact that I was shite, I really can’t think what the reason was!!!”

“I’ve known Éamonn from his playing days, he obviously wanted someone he could trust and it was one of the greatest favours I’ve ever been asked for. I just went in and did what I was asked and whatever photographs the players wanted, they got.”

“The craic and camaraderie I witnessed was something truly special, only people that have been in a victorious dressing room after an All-Ireland can appreciate.”

“Éamonn spoke with humility and admiration for his players.”

‘I just want to say lads, I just want to say to you lads from the bottom of my heart – thanks so much. Ye have no idea lads, ye have no idea the emotion that was in that room (at our meeting) last night, how special and how kind that was, it was unique, it was unique. The fine, massive, cup is in front of us. To the boys winning their first All-Ireland –welcome to the club!’

“And with that a huge roar went up in the dressing room.”

“A couple of All-Ireland winners in hurling and football have told me that the first five minutes in the dressing room after leaving the pitch after winning an All-Ireland is the moment they cherish the most. That time is the only thing they would give up their medals for.”

“To be with their team-mates, those who travelled the long road since the hard training in the winter, who they have soldiered with through the ups and downs of a season. To be together, to celebrate their historic achievement, that can never be taken from them.”

“Before they all go their separate ways, to anti-doping, to media duties, to the banquet and the homecomings, probably never to have the whole group together, in one place at one time, ever again.”

“The taste of success with your team-mates, your people, your friends.”

“When I look back now, I really appreciate what an honour it was to be in there.”

“To share what they were feeling. As an outsider of sorts, but one of them as well. While I live here, there and everywhere, I’ll always be from Kerry.”