Stephen Molumphy has cautioned that it is early in the year to get overly excited by results, but admits the historic win over Tipperary is a positive sign that Kerry are moving in the right direction.
The Kingdom advanced to the semi-finals of Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup with a three-point win at Austin Stack Park.
Normally the early season GAA competitions come and go with minimal fuss, often a chance for managers to allow game time to extended members of a panel, but the result marked Kerry's first-ever senior hurling win over Tipperary.
Waterford native Molumphy was keen to play down the achievement – he was unaware Kerry had never recorded a win over the Premier County before – after the event, but acknowledges it’s about building blocks in his new position.
"There’s lot of work to do, but it’s nice to see us going, hopefully, in the right direction," he told RTÉ Sport.
Shane Conway was prominent from play and placed balls as the Kingdom enjoyed a three-point cushion at the interval and while the visitors to Tralee cut the gap to a single point in injury time, Conway and Paudie Ahern slung over the final two points of the game to seal the win.
With Kerry operating in the Joe McDonagh Cup, Molumphy says the early season competition, even against weakened teams, is just what his team need to gauge their progress.
"There's excellent potential here.
"It’s a great opportunity to play another Munster team. We love this competition. We want to be up against the best and it gives us a great opportunity to play them.
"There’s excellent potential here. I remember watching them three years ago in the Joe McDonagh Cup, and you could see the talent is there.
"I suppose I’m trying to get that confidence in them now. It’s in the players, it’s here in Kerry. I’m glad I have the opportunity and I’m going to make it count."
Having succeeded Fintan O’Connor in the green and gold hotseat, Molumphy is in the early stages of his first inter-county managerial role having been part of Wexford and Waterford backroom teams in recent years.
With only half a dozen players from last year’s Joe McDonagh Cup featuring today and a number of U20s being blooded through, what will mark his stamp on the team?
"Team work. It’s the guy making the dummy runs, the guy getting the ball out of the ruck, passing to a guy in support. It’s basically the guys you won’t talk about.
"Your excellent forwards and defenders people know of, but it’s the guy on the pitch doing the unseen work.
"Today in the first half we showed that. In the second half, we thought the wind would do a lot of the work for us."
His Tipperary counterpart Colm Bonnar offered no excuses for the January defeat.
"All credit to Kerry, they were very good," he said. "It’s disappointing. We showed a better attitude in the second half and fought to the bitter end.
"It’s early days."