Kerry’s chances of defending their All-Ireland football title took another blow as goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy announced his retirement from inter-county football.
The 34-year-old, who won four senior All-Ireland medals with the Kingdom, has cited an ongoing back problem as one of the key reasons for his decision.
"I’ve had this nagging back strain for a couple of seasons now that is getting progressively worse. It kicks in around June every season, and though the medical team with Kerry have handled it brilliantly, you’re also looking at medication to control it – and that brings its own problems," he told the Irish Examiner.
"I had pretty much decided from early on this year that it was going to be my last. You have to look at how much the body can take.
"I had a bad season the year before (2008), my worst with Kerry, but after a couple of very positive chats with Jack O’Connor that winter, I decided to give it one more season."
Murphy made his Kerry debut in 2004 and as well as the four senior medals, the Dingle man picked up three All Stars, two National League titles and six Munster titles.