Kieran Donaghy has lauded James O'Donoghue as a "class act" after he announced his retirement from inter-county football with Kerry.

The 2014 Footballer of the Year, who lifted Sam Maguire with the Kingdom alongside Donaghy that year, confirmed his decision to step away from the inter-county scene at the age of 31 on Tuesday.

Four-time former Kerry All-Ireland winner Donaghy, was speaking to RTÉ's Game On in the wake of his role in winning a National Cup in basketball with Garvey's Tralee Warriors at the weekend, and paid a warm tribute to O'Donoghue, emphasising his perseverance through a litany of injury setbacks.

"A quick shout-out to my old sparring partner who has hung up the boots... a class act," he said of O'Donoghue.

"A gas man on and off the pitch and will be missed and was a great servant. People remember his Footballer of the Year, people will remember his All-Stars and his goals but for me (it's) how he tried to work through the injuries with the shoulders, the surgeries he went through, the rehab he put in and the size and bulk he put on to take those shoulders.

"Look, he was very unlucky with injury and it really hampered the latter end of his career. But he exploded onto the scene and was such a great player for so long for us."

Donaghy, who is part of the Armagh backroom team, also touched on his fellow Austin Stacks clubman Joe O'Connor who is set to assume the Kerry captaincy, describing him as a "really, really strong character".

"Joe's willingness to learn is hugely admirable. After every game he'd come to me with clips of what he could have done or what we could do or what we could do as a team. He'd talk through them and he's a very astute, intelligent guy," he said.

"So Kerry have got a good one to lead them this year and he was there too last year, so he knows the group. The group like him. When he got the goal against Roscommon in the last league game up there, you could see the amount of players that ran towards him, particularly Tommy Walsh who would be from the rival club in the town but sees the huge qualities that Joe has as a player and a leader."