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We haven't blown our chance: Keane

 

Proud showing: Peter Keane was happy with his side’s display
Proud showing: Peter Keane was happy with his side’s display
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

The crowd came for a Coronation, but the Kingdom was in no mood to facilitate it.

The last day Peter Keane sat in front of the media he played down all chances, but he was more bullish after this draw epic.

"Did we think we had a chance coming here today? Sure of course," reasoned the Cahirciveen shopkeeper.

"If you have two dogs in any race one of the dogs might get a heart attack and the other one could walk home. You have a chance every time you are out there."

So, what did he use as motivation, the endless reams of praise coming the way of Dublin?

"I don't think you guys talk about using this as motivation. At the end of the day, if you are on the Kerry team or a Kerry player, you are kicking ball against the gable wall since you were knee-high. You want to play on a day like this, you feel like you are born for this. We wanted to get up to Croke Park, we haven't been here since 2015. So, you want to be here on these days and sure look, we will get a second bite at it.

"It would have been a lot worse going off of here having lost."

It's a tough question, but plenty will say that Kerry had their chance, and Dublin having come through the 2016 All-Ireland final replay against Mayo, are better equipped for the replay. Especially if they keep their players on the pitch.

On this, Keane was prepared to go cute on us again.

"Sure, of course they will. They have won four All-Irelands on the bounce, they were going for seven in the last nine years and they didn't get those All-Irelands in a lucky bag. They are a serious team. Look, we will go away and have a cut of it again."

He answered the obligatory 'mood in the dressing room' question with, "I wouldn't say it is an opportunity missed. At the end of the day we weren't in an All-Ireland final since 2015. You have a young team. What are they going to get only experience out of the game? There is a learning curve. I said all along that we were on a crash course of a learning curve and this is only helping it."

All the 'young lads' and 'inexperience' lines wear thin when you look at Tommy Walsh, Mark Griffin and Jonathan off the subs bench, to join Paul Geaney, David Moran and Paul Murphy on the pitch. Keane is setting the parameters of expectation.

He's no slow learner and he will recognise he has a deadly bench that contributed 1-2 in the closing stages.

"We got a good bounce out of our subs today and Tommy (Walsh) was one of those guys. What did he do? He had two shots and he scored one and missed one but set up another one so he had a good day, yeah."

Another ahead of him? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

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