Donnachadh Walsh has announced his Inter County retirement.
The Cromane player leaves the Kerry set-up having won 3 All-Ireland Senior Football Championships.
He also won 8 Munster titles and 2 National Leagues as well as an All-Star award.
Former Kerry captain Billy O’Shea
In a statement released by Cromane GAA Club, the 3 time All-Ireland Senior Football Championship winner says:
“For the last 15 years, I have devoted my life to the Kerry senior football team. The greatest honour I ever could’ve imagined has been pulling on the green and gold jersey but, as with all good things, it must come to an end. That end has arrived.”
“I am retiring from Kerry inter-county football with a lifetime of memories. I first played for Kerry as a minor two days after my 17th birthday back in 2001, and apart from a brief period where I had to knuckle down in my early 20s, I have been on the juggernaut that is the life of a Kerry footballer ever since. I cherished every second because it’s all I ever wanted to do. ”
“But now, it’s time for me to step aside. ”
“I wish the new Kerry senior football manager the very best of luck and encourage all my former teammates to do what it takes to get Kerry back to the top. The memories will be worth it. ”
“My club, Réalt na Mara, An Cromán, have supported me to the hilt on the entirety of this journey. There is no greater feeling than representing your own people and I hope I’ve done so with heart, dignity and determination. Although a small club we have managed to produce two inter-county footballers for Kerry over the last 15 years, something we take great pride in.”
“On my league debut for Kerry, back in March 2003, when Páidí Ó Sé gave me my first taste of senior Kerry football, Seán O’Sullivan and I made up two-thirds of the half forward line. To have two men from the club line out for Kerry was a great honour for Cromane and a testament to our club’s officials and coaches.”
“To all the members of Cromane GAA Club: thank you so much for nurturing and encouraging me. While it’s the end of an era retiring from Kerry, it’s something of a rebirth for me with the club. I was reared about 10 metres from Cromane GAA pitch and it has been close to my heart since I could raise my foot and kick a ball. I look forward to kicking many more balls there in the years to come.”
“I would like to thank my family and friends for always being there through thick and thin. I’d like to especially thank all my coaches and team-mates that I played with, and for, throughout my development and career including my school, the Intermediate School Killorglin (ISK); my divisional GAA board, Mid Kerry; my colleges, UCC and RCSI, and Kerry underage teams. ”
“Finally, to the many passionate Kerry supporters, young and old, that I have met the length and breadth of the county and country, I would like to thank you for your fervent support throughout my time in the green and gold. I now hope to become one of you, as I cheer on my heroes from the terraces of Austin Stack Park and Fitzgerald Stadium. ”
Statement from Tim Murphy, County Board Chairman
Donnchadh Walsh’s announcement today marks the end of another glorious Intercounty career spanning 17 years over different grades.
A proud Cromane man, Donnchadh’s work rate on the field was unequalled.
He leaves the stage having made an enormous contribution to Kerry and does so in the knowledge of having left a lasting legacy of excellence for the next generation of players to aspire to.
On behalf of all involved in Kerry GAA I wish to sincerely thank Donnchadh for all he has done and wish him the very best in the years to come.
Statement from Éamonn Fitzmaurice, former Senior Football Manager
I would like to congratulate Donnchadh on his retirement this morning. He has given fantastic service to the Kerry jersey and can retire with his head held high. He is a genuine, honest and intelligent person and was a joy to be involved with on and off the field. He made his league debut in 2003 and displayed his determination and resilience by biding his time and redoubling his efforts to break into the championship team in 2007. From then on he was central to Kerry successes.
In my time in charge Donnchadh was our specialist wing forward, always a demanding and dynamic role but in todays game achieving the balance between working hard for the team while maintaining an offensive threat is a unique skillset. Donnchadh’s machinelike stamina was a huge asset and he moulded his game to allow him to use it to his and the teams advantage. Once the ball was thrown in Donnchadh was in perpetual motion, always available as an outlet and his honesty when working for the team was exemplary. He was pivotal to our game-plan in 2014 where all these characteristics were in plain sight. I particularly enjoyed witnessing Donnchadh develop from a quiet personality who went about his business into a leader that drove the standards of the group, leading by example. His personal mantra of “next ball” became a habit for the entire group. The respect within the group for him was absolute and was matched only by the acceptance that marking him in training meant a serious test lay ahead.
Peileadóir agus duine den scoth is ea Donnchadh. Fear is ea é a thug dea-shampla i gcónaí agus geansaí Chiarraí á chaitheamh aige. Go néirí go geal leis amach anseo.
Statement from Jack O’Connor, former Senior Football Manager
Donnchadh was the ultimate team player. He worked tirelessly for the team and had unbelievable stamina.
His role as a hardworking wing forward demanded honesty and huge work rate and Donnacha had those in abundance. Players like him who do such unselfish work for the team cause are hard to find. He will be missed by Kerry.
We wish Donnchadh all the best for the future and I congratulate him on his excellent career in the Green & Gold