KIERAN McGEENEY has signed up for another three years in the Kildare football hotseat.
The man who led Armagh to All-Ireland glory on the field is clearly now intent on masterminding a similar assault on Sam with his adopted Lilywhites, given his commitment for another extended term.
“County board chairman Pádraig Ashe has just confirmed that Kieran McGeeney has agreed to a new three-year deal taking him up until the end of the 2013 season.
The deal is subject to ratification at the October county board meeting. More details to follow,” a brief statement on the Kildare GAA website revealed. In his first three years as the St Conleth’s Park helm, McGeeney led Kildare to consecutive All-Ireland quarter-final appearances and then went one step further this summer.
The team’s agonising semi-final defeat to Down, 17 days ago, brought the curtain down on Geezer’s original three-year term and prompted inevitable speculation about whether he would stick with the Lilies or twist.
But county board chiefs have convinced the Mullaghbawn native to continue his impressive body of work and, presuming he sees out his second term, he will have completed six years in the role.
To date, the one thing missing from his CV is silverware. In Leinster they have mixed the good - last year’s valiant final defeat to Dublin - with the bad, in the guise of two shock opening round defeats to Wicklow (2008) and Louth (this summer).
On the flip side, McGeeney has earned huge plaudits for transforming Kildare into a formidable ‘back door’ force and, especially this summer, a genuine All-Ireland contender.
His decision is likely to convince several of Kildare’s old guard to defer any retirement thoughts for another 12 months at least.
In this respect, most eyes will focus on the likes of 30-something skipper Johnny Doyle and All Star midfielder Dermot Earley, albeit the latter is facing knee surgery to sort out the cruciate injury that blighted his 2010 campaign.