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Kelly keeping his feet on the ground ahead of historic clash

 

By Michael Verney

Twelve months ago, Fintan Kelly was rampaging forward from corner-back to rattle the net in successive championship games, and Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke clearly saw enough to convince him of his attacking potential.

Moving to the other end of the pitch has stifled the immediate progress of many a player, with the different demands of various positions, but the versatile Clones clubman has taken to it like a duck to water.

Having been nominated for an All-Star in defence last year, Kelly has quickly become a mainstay of the Farney attack and helped them to end their 30-year wait for a semi-final appearance.

There was delirium in Monaghan after an inspiring defeat of Galway booked their last-four clash against Tyrone this Sunday (3.30), but Kelly is keeping his feet on the ground.

"It means a lot to supporters who have followed us through thick and thin," he said. "After losing to Fermanagh, they could have walked away but they didn't, they came back and went straight down to Waterford, to Leitrim, to follow us.

"We get a serious buzz from that, but as players we have to come down very quick because we have a massive game on Sunday. There's no point getting to a semi-final after this long waiting and not showing up."

Kelly is aware that they can't get carried away or Mickey Harte's Red Hand side will bring them crashing back down to earth this weekend.

"We're a very grounded bunch with a lot of leaders. Nobody gets ahead of themselves and that's probably a sign of where we've come to now," he said.

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