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Lilywhites ready to ratify Ryan as their successor to McGeeney

JASON RYAN is widely expected to be ratified as Kildare senior football manager tonight, although county board officials remain highly secretive over the identity of their chosen candidate.

The former Wexford boss, who served as a selector under the recently deposed Kieran McGeeney last season, is understood to be the preferred choice of the Kildare county board's management committee, who will propose his appointment at a meeting of club delegates in Newbridge tonight (8pm), exactly five weeks after his predecessor was ousted.

In the interim, many high-profile names had been linked with the job but Ryan's impressive coaching CV and already-established rapport with the Kildare players – many of whom were vocal and damning in their criticism of McGeeney's removal – are thought to be the key factors in his appointment.

Initially, Glenn Ryan was presumed to be the front-runner, but after a meeting with Kildare's power-brokers, he formally withdrew from the process.

Kerry's three-time All-Ireland-winning manager Jack O'Connor was also reported to have held talks but last Monday he was installed as manager of the Kingdom minors on a three-year term.


And last Thursday, during the live broadcast of the draw for next year's provincial championships on RTÉ television, Kevin McStay admitted that he was interested in the post while it is also understood that Rory Gallagher – Jim McGuinness' right-hand man for the past three years in Donegal – was also recently sounded out with regard to his availability.

The board's executive had initially hoped to appoint someone last Tuesday night but postponed the scheduled meeting until tonight in order to finalise the appointment.

IRELAND'S International Rules captain Michael Murphy is facing the prospect of playing two matches within 24 hours of one another... on consecutive weekends.

Murphy was confirmed as Paul Earley's captain for the two-Test series last Thursday but on Saturday, his club, Glenswilly, beat Ardara in the Donegal SFC semi-final and the final – against Killybegs – is scheduled for Sunday week at MacCumhaill Park, with throw-in time yet to be confirmed, the day after Murphy is due to lead Ireland out against Australia in Breffni Park.

And should Glenswilly win, they are set to play Antrim champions St Gall's in the Ulster club SFC quarter-final the following Sunday – the day after Ireland's second test in Croke Park.