Seamus Moynihan

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Seamus Moynihan


Séamus Moynihan
Personal information
Sport Gaelic Football
Date of Birth 22nd October 1973
Place of birth Kerry, Ireland
Height 5'11"
Nickname(s) 'Pony'
Club information
Club Glenflesk
Position Midfield
Club(s)*
Club Years Apps (scores)
Glenflesk 1980-Present {{{clapps(points)}}}
Club Titles
Kerry Titles 3
Inter County
County Kerry
Position Centre Half Back
Inter County(ies)**
County Years Apps (scores)
Kerry 1992-2006
Inter County Titles
Munster Titles 8
All-Ireland 4
All-Stars 3

* club appearances and scores
correct as of {{{clupdate}}}.
**Inter County team apps and scores correct
as of {{{icupdate}}}.

Séamus Moynihan is an Irish and Kerry Gaelic Athletic Association Football Player from Shronedarraugh - a townland half way between Barraduff and Glenflesk, County Kerry. He has played Gaelic football for Saint Brendan's Secondary School, Glenflesk, East Kerry, Unversity College Cork, Institute of Technology Tralee, Kerry Minor, U21 and Senior, Munster and Ireland. He was a member of the Kerry Senior Football Panel from 1992-2006 and still plays club football for Glenflesk. He resides in Shronedraugh with his fiancée Noreen and their son, Jamie.


Reputation

Moynihan is widely regarded as one of the most inspirational footballers of his, and indeed any era. Despite his considerable physical strength, sharp mental focus and unrivaled reading of the game, it is Moynihan's attitude to the triumvirate of physical fitness, preparation and discipline that set him apart from his peers. Off the field of play, his 'down-to-earth' demeanour, sincerity and genuine warmth has, over the years, made him a firm favourite with journalists, fans and his football contemporaries. Although Séamus Moynihan has often lined out alongside players that were more flamboyant, more skillful and at times more influential on the field of play, it is his embodiment of total commitment, nigh on 100% consistency and ferocious cometitiveness that football fans admire. In the last 15 years of top-level participation, no GAA footballer has played more games, has lined out for a wider variety of teams or has won as many trophies and accolades as Séamus Moynihan.

Early career

Séamus Moynihan was a robust underage player, idolising the style of Kerry All-Star forward John Egan and playing for his local GAA club Glenflesk, secondary school team St. Brendan's of Killarney and Kerry Minors and U21s. Moynihan first taste of inter-county success arrived at the age of 16 when he was part of the Kerry Minor team that claimed the Munster crown in 1990. Growing in stature and influence, the young Moynihan had a stellar year in 1992 when he lined out on the St. Brendan's team that beat St. Jarlaith's of Galway in the All-Ireland Colleges Final [The Hogan Cup] and also turned heads on the Kerry U21 team that won out in Munster. It was about this time that Mickey 'Ned' O'Sullivan, former Kerry captain and current Senior Manager of Limerick began to talk to people about Moynihan's potential. Séamus Moynihan, aged just 18, made his senior debut at midfield for Kerry in the Munster Final, replacing Gneeveguila veteran Ambrose O'Donovan. Any elation felt by the young player at togging off alongside the likes of Kerry great Eoin 'Bomber' Liston and midfield collosus Jack O'Shea was muted as Kerry succumbed to a steely Clare side on a score of 2-08 to 0-10. It was Sullivan's Last game in charge.

Formative Career: 1992-1996

During 1992 and 1993 campaigns, Moynihan was tried at halfback, midfield and half forward before settling into the half back line. The next 3 championship seasons were unsettling from a Kerry viewpoint as 3 straight defeats by Cork in 1993, 1994 and 1995 Munster Finals saw the Kerry Seniors eyeballing a 10 year low. Despite this disappointing level of achievement at inter-county level, Séamus Moynihan was beginning a strong run of success at Sigerson Cup level, playing for U.C.C. in the 1994 and 1995 finals; then returning 2 years later in 1997 and 1998 whilst studying a Masters at the I.T.T. to collect a couple more winners medals.

It was now becoming clear that the frequency of Moynihan's footballing was feeding an uncanny level of form and consistency and this was now beginning to shape his influence on the county team. By the time the championship of 1996 arrived, Moynihan, now 22, imbued with a growing sense of poise and strength, played a key role in the 3 point defeat of Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. There were also strong indications at this time that St. Mary's and Kerry talisman Maurice Fitzgerald was about to write himself into the GAA history books, displaying flashes of genius in almost every game. Despite the talent on this maturing team, disappointment ensued once more as Mayo glided past Kerry by 2-13 to 1-10 in the All Ireland Semi Final, eventually losing to Meath in a replayed All Ireland decider. However, many Kerry fans felt that the tide was certainly on the turn ...

The Return of The Kings: 1997-2000

In 1997, Tipperary and Clare were confidently brushed aside as a rising Kerry Senior Team rolled into their 2nd All Ireland Semi Final in a row. A seven-point victory over Cavan put Kerry back in their first All Ireland Football Final in over a decade and back in front of Mayo. In a game that has since become known as the 'Maurice Fitzgerald' final, Kerry beat Mayo by 0-13 to 1-07, Fitzgerald chipping over 9 points. Liam Hassett of Laune Rangers hoisted the Sam Magure up in front of delighted Kerry supporters for the first time in 11 years. The championship seasons of 1998 and 1999 were disappointing for Kerry, but more success lay ahead.

Career High: 1999/2000

Many pundits and supporters rate Séamus Moynihan's form during the 1999 and 2000 seasons as his very best. This is evidenced by a number of facts, apart from supporter recollections from this time. Firstly, Moynihan alongside fellow Kerry star and clubman Johnny Crowley were almost single handedly responsible for East Kerry's County Championship Treble of 1997-1999. Secondly, Seamus Moynihan's level of performance and influence, during Kerry's All Ireland campaign of 2000 remains the stuff of legend in the county. In a series of 4 classic games, Kerry were forced to grind out a semi-final win against a rising Armagh side after a replay and it took another replay in the final beating Galway 0-17 to 1-10 to ascend the step of the Hogan Stand. One of the highlights of these two epic games was the battle between Moynihan and Padraic Joyce. The two had won numerous Sigerson Cup medals together whilst studying at Tralee IT and were good friends off the pitch. A thrilling encounter from start-to-finish, Moynihan got the upper hand on his friend through incredible streals, collects and positional intuition. In addition to receiving Man of the Match in the 2000 Final, Moynihan, as captain, lifted the Sam Maquire, collected an All-Star and received a Texaco Award as Outstanding Gaelic Footballer of 2000. Thirdly, despite the intensity of the county club and inter-county champtionship, Moynihan lined out for Ireland in the Australian Compormise Rules Series in October 2000, playing almost 100% of all 3 games, driving the national side forward with his now trademark "collect and distribute" style, neutralising Aussie playmaker Nathan Buckley and securing "Player of the Tournament" for his stellar efforts. To round off an incredible year, Séamus Moynihan was voted 'Supreme Sports Star of the Year' at the Kerry Sports Stars Banquet.

Maturing & Mentoring: 2001-2006

In what would turn out to be a mixed few years for Séamus Moynihan, Kerry lost heavily to Meath in the All Ireland Semi Final of 2001 but were back in an All Ireland Final again in 2002, where they were stunned by a now fully formed Armagh side, playing the GAA equivalent of "total football", where every position on the field was interchangeable, subs were used in an unconventional way and traditional counter-tactics just failed to work. Like many Southern teams, Kerry were slow to deal with the tactical creativity and intensity of the Northern style of play and Moynihan often found the pace of these encounters would show up his increasingly noticeable lack of pace. After a semi-final defeat and a change of management in 2003, Kerry found themselves back in the All Ireland Final in 2004, yet again facing Mayo. Unluckily, Moynihan had suffered an ankle injury during the earlier part of the season and found himself in a quasi-managemnt role for the latter stages of the All Ireland campaign; his input in the final limited to a short run-on when Kerry were well in control of the game. Now 30, Séamus Moynihan began to look for a way to go out "at the top".

The chance to go out in style arrived in September 2005 as Kerry returned to Croke Park to face Tyrone. Again, the zeal of Mickey Harte's side caught Kerry off guard and they were comprehensively beaten by a much stronger Tyrone team, in no small part driven by the imminent retirement of Peter Canavan, the risng stars of Eoin Mulligan and Stephen O'Neill along with the spirit of the late Cormac McAnallen. Observers noted again how Séamus Moynihan struggled against the stealth and pace of the Tyrone play and many, including himself, saw it as a sign that he should consider retirement from inter-county level.

A number of weeks of reflection followed and when Jack O'Connor announced he was willing to give it one more chance, Moynihan agreed to rejoin the panel. After many months of personal training by Ger Hartmann in Limerick and following the 3rd year of the "speed and strength" conditioning approach of Pat Flanagan with the Kerry Seniors, Moynihan emerged a visibly renewed force. Despite his excellent physical condition, he was surprisingly slow to build the intensity of his play during the early games in the championship, up to and including the Munster Final Replay defeat to arch rivals Cork. Media rumours were rife of a 'split in the camp' and of 'internal squabbling' but a new look team, incorporating the rangy skills of Austin Stacks' Kieran Donaghy at full forward seemed to give the team a new dimension along with new forward-play options. From this point, and playing in a visibly more settled side, Moynihan began to exert considerable influence as Kerry cruised past Longford, Armagh and Cork, into their 68th All Irelnd Final. What followed in the final was a unexpected tour de force of stealth, speed and power as the Kerry Seniors, driven by a resurgent Moynihan, disproved all doubters by winning their 34th All Ireland title, roundly demolishing an ill-fated and rudderless Mayo side. Alongside Man of the Match Aidan O'Mahony and midfield dynamo Paul Galvin, Moynihan's performance captivated the crowd; he even managed to punch over one point from play.

After the game, an emotional Séamus Moynihan was quoted as saying:

"In fairness, there’s only one way you can bounce back. You can win the National League and the All-Ireland and that’s what the guys did this year ... dreams have come true, my son in one arm, the Sam Maguire in the other, nothing else will cap that!"

Retirement and Plaudits

It was strongly rumoured throughout 2006 that Séamus Moynihan's 2006 campaign would be his last in a Kerry shirt - a suggestion that was strongly appealed by pundits and fans alike during the week of celebrations that followed their storming victory over Mayo. Despite these pleas, Moynihan announced his retirement from inter-county football on Saturday, September 23rd through an article in The Irish Times.[1] On the following Monday, Kerry team manager Jack O’Connor hailed Moynihan as “a one-off player” and said Kerry football would never see his like again. He also stated that Séamus was an inspiration to the entire Kerry team, particularly the younger players and that he would be missed. Announcing his decision to quit lining out for Kerry, Moynihan said: “All good things come to an end.” [2]

St. Agatha's Glenflesk GAA Club pay tribute

On the night of January 19th 2007, the annual Glenflesk social staged a special "This is your Life" style tribute to Séamus Moynihan. Although Moynihan understood that there was to be a special presentation to him by Micheál O Mhuircheartaigh he was in his own words "stung" by the fact that over 700 guests were secretly in attendance including relatives, past players, close friends, neighbours and the present Kerry GAA team. When he arrived with his fiancée Noreen - - he received a standing ovation and made his way to the top table with green and gold candles burning on each side of the aisle! Between video montages of Séamus' greatest moments on the field of play, Micheál O Mhuircheartaign interviewed a variety of GAA figures on the night - Sean Kelly (Former GAA President), Jack O'Connor (Kerry Senior Team Manager 2003-2006), Padraic Joyce, Jarlaith Fallon and Glen Ryan(close friends) and his father Dan Moynihan. When Séamus arrived to speak at the end of the night, he revealed that his father had spent the first 6 years of his life in Dublin before moving to Kerry - so "there's a bit of the Dub in him". He also recalled that in his younger days, his mother used to set out to a Munster Final, wearing a red and white hat; his father wearing the green and gold of Kerry. Moynihan joked "but she never came home with it".

Career Awards

Moynihan has won four All-Ireland medals, three National Leagues, nine Munster championship medals, four Sigerson Cup medals, two GAA All-Stars, one Railway Cup medal and one Division 2 title. He also won three county championship medals with East Kerry and captained his country in the International Rules series.[3]


Preceded by
Graham Geraghty
(Meath)
All-Ireland Football Final
winning captain

2000
Succeeded by
Gary Foley
(Galway)

 

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