Thursday 27 July 2017

Kieran McGeeney's 'record in management is terrible when you get down to brass tacks'

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

He was known as a formidable leader of men during his playing days, and led Kildare to an All-Ireland semi-final in 2010 as manager but since returning to coach his native county, it just hasn't happened for Kieran McGeeney.

His first season in the Armagh backroom team as a selector was a success, with the Orchard County reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final, but last year, as manager, his side suffered an early exit in both the Ulster championship and the qualifiers.

Things didn't get any better this spring either, as the 2002 All-Ireland-winning captain couldn't stop Armagh from getting relegated to Division 3.

Earlier today, Irish Independent journalist Vincent Hogan and pundit Joe Brolly discussed McGeeney on Off The Ball, and despite the Armagh man leading Kildare to five straight All-Ireland quarter-final appearances, they don't rate his managerial career very favourably.

"His record in management is terrible when you get down to brass tacks," Hogan said.

"Who did Kildare beat in his six years there? Now Armagh are relegated to division three."

Joe Brolly feels that McGeeney's relentless pursuit of excellence and high standards can sometimes burden his players.

"It is very difficult for Kieran McGeeney to conceal his disappointment of all around him," Brolly said.

"You would never see any of the best managers like that, Alex Ferguson, Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin. They are always positive, positive, positive."

One big controversy of McGeeney's Kildare tenure was when Cavan forward Seanie Johnston transferred to the county. Johnston never established himself in the side and the whole affair proved to be a massive distraction.

"He [McGeeney] only had access to him [Johnston] because he poached him," Brolly said.

"He went to Cavan and got him to come down. It was very embarrassing for the group. What a managerial blunder that was."

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