From Mid Kerry Camp: young- gun O'Grady bred in the purple

By Murt Murphy for
Glenbeigh/Glencar youngster Gavan O'Grady is fast making a name for himself but for those of us in the know, Gavin is bred in the purple and every County Championship that Mid Kerry have won before 2008, there was an O'Grady involved.
Back in 1967, when Mid Kerry won their first, Gavan's uncle Michael was a substitute when Mid Kerry won their first, then Michael was a star corner forward when Mid Kerry beat Shannon Rangers after a replay in 1971, but Rangers were to have their revenge the following year.
Then fast forward to 1992 and the centre back on the Mid Kerry team that defeated St Brendan's was Patrick O'Grady who is Gavan' s dad and Pa Kilkenny ‘s uncle. On that team at corner back on that Mid Kerry team was Pattie Griffin now a selector on this current Mid Kerry side.
While I haven't checked it, it is possible that Gavan who was only a minor may well have been a sub, in the 2008 Mid Kerry winning team, so it's a good omen for Mid Kerry to have an O'Grady in their ranks and being from Glenbeigh/Glencar does help ( sorry for bias!)

But Gavan O'Grady has been an outstanding minor and played with the Kerry minor and Kerry juniors so his rise in the ranking has taken nobody by surprise. He now goes to UCC and two weeks ago he came on as a sub to inspire the college to beat hot favourites Castlehaven so it's Munster Club for Gavan now regardless.
Gavan's dad Pa was some footballer at the back as tough as nails and he never gave up - as they say the apple never falls far from the tree so Gavan is a class act and not easy to curb when he gets quality ball.

O'Grady says he has learnt a lot from his intercounty managers "It's great to be able to learn from the likes of Pat O'Driscoll and Kerry O'Sullivan. They do add that bit extra to your game trying to improve you overall as a footballer," O'Grady said.
However O'Grady like many football pundits in the county just cannot explain why Glenbeigh/Glencar seem to continually miss out at Junior level as they did a few weeks ago to Co Champions Dromid Pearses "Dromid Pearses had the experience of being there before and you could definitely see that they had that extra bit of hunger for it on the day," the Mid Kerry forward said.

Like two of the players he will be facing this Sunday ( Johnny Buckley and Daithi Casey), O'Grady was facing two games in the space of 24 hours with the Cork final between the College and Castlehaven the following day. But UCC was not in O'Grady's thoughts because East Kerry and James Sheehan required extra time before they were subdued

"All we wanted to do was get over East Kerry. We got a massive fright but it did in some ways focus the mind for the game the following day and you could see with the performances of Johnny and Daithi in the final that their game with West Kerry had no affect on them," he said.
While the debate about whether the final should be played in Tralee or Killarney continues, O'Grady himself is personally delighted to have the opportunity to play in Fitzgerald Stadium once more.

"It's definitely a forward's dream to play there and on balance I think it's the venue where every player prefers to play, certainly on the big days."
O'Grady is an admirer of Crokes though that will be put on the backburner on Sunday while he playing in the final as will his friendship with Johnny Buckley and Daithi Casey. "Crokes being the club side will be expected to go on and win it but that's a perfect position for us to be in. We know that if we perform to our capabilities on the day then we will definitely be there or thereabouts."

So expect Gavan O'Grady to be a major player on Sunday and remember that stat at the start about the O'Grady's in Co Finals - they have one hell of a record so Crokes watch out - Mid Kerry are a point up already!