Much of the talk in the build-up to Sunday’s Clare senior football final has centred around the various familial connections that exist between Kilmurry Ibrickane and Miltown.
While all that is going on, Kilmurry captain Keith King is happy to sit back and observe, safe in the knowledge that he does not have to worry about that particular element of the occasion.
“There are no connections with Miltown in my immediate family that I know of so I think I am nearly one of the only ones that does not have any to worry about any of that side of things ahead of it so I am in the clear. Everyone has been waiting for this game for the last three or four years. Players want it, supporters want it and I think it will make for a great game. Any final is a great one to win but being captain and that element of the rivalry and how well they have been going over the last few years will make for a brilliant final” said the Limerick based Garda.
King has been a model of consistency for the Bricks across the last decade and played a key role in their four championship successes in that time. This year has seen him take on the captaincy duties and he says it is something that means a lot.
“I was shocked when it announced I was going to be the captain because there are so many lads that have put a massive effort across the year and lads that have been there along with me that put so much into the game. It was an honour to be asked and I just hope I do right by the lads” he noted.
Along with his championship medal collection, King is also an accomplished athlete and has competed at a high standard for both county and country. He feels having that athletics background has helped in maintaining fitness levels over the years.
“It has been a few years since I competed in athletics because I found as the years went on it was difficult to keep it going along with the football. I was big into it alright when I was younger and I suppose that fitness base helped the football too and thankfully I have managed to maintain that over the years. I took part in underage international competitions like the Celtic games in Wales representing Ireland and also in Birmingham at the AAA’s which is quite a good competition to qualify for. I think I only came fourth in that one but I managed to win at the Celtic games so I was happier with that. My most recent was the 2013 World Police Games. It was the first time it came to Ireland so I decided to throw my name in for it and put a solid five or six months training into it because I wanted to have a good cut at it in the decathlon which I was fortunate enough to win. It was my first world title and it was probably my last one too” he smiled.
King has plenty previous experience of working under Brick’s boss Aidan Moloney and says when he came back on board, everyone knew what was coming down the line.
“Horse is a good manager and he is straight to the point and knows what he wants to get out of players. He doesn’t care how he gets it once he gets it. We all know the way he works now at this stage. You could really see when we were working on fitness and when it really got down to the hard work, there was a lot of competition across the board within squad, whether you were a young lad or an old lad. Everyone wanted to beat each other and there was a savage spirit in it but a good deal of craic at the same time. The first few weeks of it were pure torture but we could see we were getting much fitter and there was a real bite in it with everyone trying to get ahead and it raised standards across the board. I really think it was one of the best years I have ever had in terms of the physical work we put in. We knew we were going back to the beach and there would be no ball seen for a few months but it worked for us before so hopefully it can again. Our trainer Barry Gibbons is great too and really puts us through our paces. I think the lads who all around our age will agree that it is a good sign that you are seeing out the 60 minutes but you are not totally wrecked, you are still able to make that last run that needs to be made, that is a good sign. If you are not seeing that, I think it is a sign that you are pushing on a bit so thankfully that is still there” he concluded.