Jack O’Connor praises Quirke

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Updated: August 8, 2011

Kerry manager Jack O’Connor has said that Micheal Quirke “will be missed around the place”, after the midfielder decided to leave the county panel earlier this week.

O’Connor was high in praise for Kerins O’Rahilly’s man, who has been involved with the Kingdom for almost ten years.

“He is one of the best fielders of the ball that there is,” O’Connor said.

“There is no question about that. Last year against Limerick in the Munster final when we were in big trouble in the middle of the field Mike came in and transformed the game. That’s what he was capable of. He was a great leader around the squad. He will be missed around the place.”

Quirke made it clear that he had not fallen out with O’Connor due to lack of game time, but added that that factor was his main reason for leaving:

“I met with Jack and was honest with him. My attitude was that if I am not playing, then I have no interest.

“At this stage in my life I am past all of that. It is fine when you start out to sit on the bench and bide your time. That is part and parcel of inter-county football for a young player. But not now. I am nearly 32 and there were days when I was coming home from work at half four, and then to training straight away. It was crazy stuff.

“As I said that is all fine if you are playing but not when you are going out there just to make up the numbers.

“I discussed all of this with Jack. At the end of the day we shook hands and walked away. We had no hassles.”

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