Friday 22 September 2017

More woe for Lilywhites as O'Connor opts out

Kildare's Tomas O'Connor
Kildare's Tomas O'Connor
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tomas O'Connor has withdrawn from the Kildare football squad.

It follows a disappointing Allianz League campaign for the county and for the player himself who only started their games against Westmeath and Roscommon and was replaced in both.

O'Connor came off the bench in injury-time as Kildare scored a late goal to keep their faint survival hopes alive against Laois.

But the Clane clubman was an unused substitute as the Lilywhites lost their Division 2 status with a final round defeat to Galway.

That prompted his decision to walk away after a seven-year association with the squad.

O'Connor developed as a decent target man at full-forward under Kieran McGeeney where he was able to use his power to good effect. But under Jason Ryan he has become more peripheral with a greater emphasis on pace over power in attack.

Ryan has lost some experienced players since last year with Mick Foley retiring and Hugh McGrillen opting out for a year.

The Kildare manager received the backing of his County Board in the aftermath of a league campaign that saw them drop a division for the second successive year.

• Former Leitrim and Connacht footballer Fergus O'Rourke, brother of Meath legend Colm O'Rourke, has passed away.

Irish Independent

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