Stephen O'Brien was the 'unsung hero' of Kerry's 38th All-Ireland triumph yesterday, according to RTÉ GAA analyst Kevin McStay.

O'Brien kicked a point from play as the Kingdom saw off Galway on a 0-20 to 0-16 scoreline. But two first-half blocks will be better remembered; the first prevented a possible goal for Johnny Heaney, while the second stopped Paul Conroy getting a shot for a point.

McStay talked about meeting the 31-year-old after an Allianz League game in the spring where he had seen little action.

"He'd got a few minutes, or not at all," said McStay. "Not much of a show anyway.

"I was chatting to him, there is that idea of a veteran about him at this stage, was he hanging around the panel.

"He felt he could only improve and he was going to keep at it and see if he could knock another big season out of it - he was well down the pecking order at that stage, and he had a lot to do.

"His approach, even back then, was that he was going to get it, and make it difficult for Jack (O'Connor) and I want to get on the team."

And that he did, as he started all five championship games for Kerry this summer, scoring six points from play in the process.

"He contributes all the time and he's a nice scorer as well," McStay continued.

"That's a part of his game that people miss. If he gets open he's not shy about putting a curler over the bar. He always contributes when he plays for the Kingdom.

"I've managed and coached against him. One of the things we're always saying to the defender is that, ' you have to stand off him' because if he comes in close he wriggles and ducks down, and goes in under your oxter.

"It's very hard to get a tackle in against him."

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