Kildare suffered in the spotlight, says Kieran McGeeney
Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney has admitted that 2012 was an "extremely draining" season personally – despite his belief that his team played their best football in his five years of management.
The ongoing controversy over Sean Johnston's transfer into the county from Cavan and the focus on the finances of the Kildare GAA made it difficult for him, he accepted.
"In terms of the overall year, it was probably our best year, performance-wise, but then there were a lot of things going on off the pitch that didn't help.
"Some of what was written was based on very few facts, whether it was financial or the Seanie issue. Nobody likes to get to the real story but that is part and parcel of sport and life.
"It's whatever makes a story. Don't get me wrong. It's not a case of 'poor me' or anything like that but it's a lot easier to deal with positive situations than it is to deal with negative situations,"he reflected.
McGeeney (right) has preached patience for Kildare ahead of a new season as his squad undergoes significant change in personnel, suggesting that it may not be as "lucrative" as people want.
"Probably because of the last result (All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Cork) people look back at last year as a bad result for us. But it was one of our best," he said.
"We walked through the O'Byrne Cup but didn't put out our best team in the final. We still had a wee bit (difficulty) at the start of the league but outside of that we were still very convincing in our games after that.
"We got caught with Meath but people forget that all our games with Meath went down to the last five minutes. It wasn't unusual that they were going to catch us at some stage.
"With the qualifiers we were probably the most convincing we have ever been.
"I know Limerick was something but we missed enough in the first half to win four games. We were quite convincing the whole year."