Saturday 1 October 2016

O'Neill's change of style making Lilies more attractive

Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30

Kildare manager Cian O'Neill (SPORTSFILE)
Kildare manager Cian O'Neill (SPORTSFILE)

In my many years watching Kildare footballers, I can't recall them making less use of the handpass than they did against Offaly last Sunday.

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New manager Cian O'Neill has promised a more foot-driven style and while it didn't always work in Tullamore, it was certainly interesting to see the Lilywhites going long quite regularly, rather than looping around each other with short handpasses.

Offaly countered it quite well at times but then Kildare's execution was far from perfect, which is understandable in early January.

"There's a time to kick and and a time to play the ball with the hand. The big challenge at the moment is in getting the decision-making right," said O'Neill.

It remains to be seen if circumstances (in other words, will they win games?) allow Kildare to retain and refine the kicking game in the coming months, but since they are in Division 3 of the Allianz League, they are well placed to experiment with the different approach.

And who knows? Maybe it prove very successful. It's certainly better to watch.

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