Paul Galvin back on Kerry squad

SportBy Sean McGoldrick
Paul Galvin comes out of retirement and rejoins Kerry squad
Paul Galvin comes out of retirement and rejoins Kerry squad

Former Footballer of the Year Paul Galvin has made a sensational return to the Kerry GAA squad.

Galvin, who will be 36 in November, announced his retirement from inter county football 13 months ago.

Later last year his autobiography 'Paul Galvin In his own Words' was published.

The four time All-Ireland winner is a brother in law of current team boss Eamon Fitzmaurice.

Galvin announced he was quitting inter county football after Kerry's defeat by Dublin in the first round of last year's Allianz League on February 1st and missed out on Kerry's All-Ireland success in September.

But his return to the squad - he was back training tonight - is even more unexpected than Kerry's All-Ireland victory in 2014. This is reflected in the brief statement issued by the Kerry Board confirming his return.

'The news that Paul Galvin has returned to the Kerry senior football panel after a year in retirement is as welcome as it was unexpected. The return of the Finuge clubman will no doubt come as a boost to a panel that has had its fair share of injuries in the aftermath of the All Ireland defeat of Donegal last September.'

However, his return is not without precedent in Kerry football. During Jack O'Connor's tenure as manager defender Mike McCarthy returned to the squad having been absence for a couple of seasons to play a key role in their 2009 All-Ireland success.

A self employed writer and editor of the website Galvin had a controversial career in the Kerry jersey.

Gavin established his football reputation with University College, Cork before maturing into an archetypal 21st century wing forward whose ability to win so called 'dirty ball' marked him out as a pivotal figure in Kerry's bid to break the northern dominance of the All-Ireland series.

Gavlin made his championship debut in 2003 and won All-Ireland medals in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

A talented dual player, he captained Kerry in 2008 but missed most of the season after picking up a six month long ban after he knocked the referee's notebook from the hands of Paddy Russell during Kerry's opening match in the Munster championship against Clare.

His personal duals with Cork players Noel O'Leary and Eoin Cadogan were also memorable, though not always for the right reasons.

But he underlined his mental strength by coming back after his tribulations in 2008 and winning Footballer of the Year in 2009.

His return further strengthens the Kerry squad who will be welcoming back Colm Cooper from injury at the end of month.

But it remains to be seen whether Galvin can win a regular spot back on the team. The game has moved on considerably since he was at the peak of his powers.