Wednesday 28 June 2017

O'Neill seeking new Kildare selectors as trio depart

The former Kildare footballer may also take up a coaching role. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
The former Kildare footballer may also take up a coaching role. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Ronan Sweeney is to link up as a selector with Cian O'Neill in 2017 as the Kildare manager redraws his backroom team after a series of departures.

The former Kildare footballer, who is still a central figure with his club Moorefield as they pursue yet another county title against arch rivals Sarsfields next week, may also take up a coaching role as Brian Flanagan, Brian Murphy and Padraig Brennan have parted company.

The trio worked with O'Neill during his first season in charge with his native county which ended with a qualifier defeat to Mayo in Castlebar.

It was a challenging season for the Lilywhites who regained Division 2 status but lost the Division 3 final to Clare before exiting the Leinster Championship to Westmeath at the semi-final stage.

Commitments

It is understood that the three selectors have left because of other commitments. Brennan, a member of the Defence Forces, may be abroad for part of next year.

Sweeney has built up plenty of inter-county experience since retiring from Kildare at the end of 2012.

He spent two years with former Kildare selector Niall Carew as part of his backroom team in Waterford and then joined Carew when he took over as manager in Sligo in late 2014. He remains one of Kildare club football's most influential players.

O'Neill had previously worked in a coaching capacity with Kerry for three years where he was also a selector having spent a year as a coach in Mayo and four years as the Tipperary hurlers' physical trainer.

Kildare still have plenty of potential and played for long spells this summer without two former AFL recruits, Paul Cribbin and Daniel Flynn, because of injury.

Another Kildare AFL recruit Sean Hurley has returned home after two years with Fremantle.

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