NEW Kerry senior football team manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice says his new job will be challenging and daunting, but admits that he is hugely excited by the role.
Fitzmaurice, 36, was formally and unanimously ratified as the new senior team manager at Monday night's county committee meeting, where he got the full backing of the executive and club delegates.
The Finuge club man succeeds Jack O'Connor for a three-year term and will set about meeting the players later in the year once he has finalised his selectors and management team.
Fitzmaurice, who returned to his day job as a teacher in Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne on Monday, said he was "excited and daunted in equal measure" by the job, but stressed that he is up for the challenge ahead and is energised by the prospect of managing the senior team.
Fitzmaurice, a three-time All-Ireland medal winner as a player who served for two years as a team selector with Jack O'Connor, admitted that he had initial reservations about taking the job but said that the "opportunity was too great to pass up on."
He said he spoke with his wife, Tina, and his family once he knew he was under consideration for the job, while he also sought the counsel and advice of his predecessor, Jack O'Connor, who Fitzmaurice said was "very supportive and helpful, and very enthusiastic" that he would take the job. The new manager told The
Kerryman on Tuesday that he is honoured to have been asked to do the job, and is grateful to the county board and the clubs for their unanimous approval and support.
Fitzmaurice vacates his position as manager of the Under-21 team after just one year in charge and said his commitment to doing that job was a major point to consider over the last couple of weeks. "I had two big concerns in considering whether or not to take the job. With the Under-21s I felt we had put down a big foundation of work this year and I felt there was a lot of unfinished business with that team. But once it fell into place that Darragh (O Se) would be taking over (as Under21 manager) I was confident that there would be minimum disruption to the Under21s.
"The other consideration was my family and the commitment involved in taking the job. It's a huge job and I couldn't do it without the backing of my family, especially my wife Tina. Once I had the full support of her and my family it was an easy decision."
Fitzmaurice won't finalise his selectors and the rest of his management team for another couple of weeks, when those names will go before the county committee at the October meeting for ratification.
Mikey Sheehy and Diarmuid Murphy are understood to be already on board in principle, while Seamus Moynihan is believed to be giving strong consideration to coming on board as a selector.