An emotional Kieran Donaghy paid tribute to the coaching staff of Austin Stacks as the Tralee side were crowned Kerry champions for the first time in 20 years.

Stacks beat Mid Kerry in yesterday’s replayed final in Killarney, capping a stunning year for the 31-year-old who already has an All-Ireland medal and an All-Star award to his name.

“A lot of work went in,” Donaghy, close to tears, told RTÉ Sport after the game.  

“We’ve an unbelievable manager in Stephen Stack, who poured a load of work into this but Wayne Quinlan before him poured his heart and soul into this team and he brought us on so much.

“He brought us from a team that looked forward to the first round of the championship to a team that looked at getting to a final or a semi-final.

“The Stacks are famous, I think they’re the best supported club in the country. We needed the fans to come out to Killarney today on a wet day and support us.”

“It’s a great one for the club. We’ve gone through a lot this year"

The man of the match added: “It’s a great one for the club. We’ve gone through a lot this year.

“People have lost family members; it’s been a rollercoaster of a year. This time last year we got hockeyed in the final by 15 points by an unbelievable Crokes team, and it was hard for us that day in the dressing room, and it took a lot of soul searching to get back out here today and finish the job.

“For the club, it’s unbelievable.”