Tuesday 20 March 2018

Cribbin: O'Neill has given Kildare instant lift

Cian O'Neill
Cian O'Neill
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kildare footballer has Paul Cribbin acknowledged the guidance Jason Ryan gave him during his two-year stewardship but admits change at the helm was needed after a disappointing season.

Kildare shipped 12 goals in two Croke Park games against Dublin and Kerry after losing their Division 2 status and that precipitated Jason Ryan's departure and Cian O'Neill's appointment.

Cribbin says the mood has lifted since they returned to training under O'Neill in recent weeks.

"I hadn't really thought of it too much like that but I know from the last couple of weeks that there has been a great buzz around the place, a great freshness, so I think maybe a change was needed.

"That's no disrespect for Jason and the lads he had in place. I have great respect for Jason and he has brought a lot of lads on. He was very good to me with my development but I think something needed to give and I think the right man is in place."

Cribbin says Ryan helped him to establish himself in his favourite position, midfield, after quite a nomadic existence since his return from a two-year spell in the AFL.

His performance there against Cork in the fourth round qualifier in Thurles was his best in the three years since his Collingwood experience ended.

"I sat down with Jason there and in his first year he asked me what I thought my best position was and I said midfield," recalled Cribbin whose brother Keith has also returned to training after a cruciate ligament rupture in April.

"He maintained that I wasn't big enough for it so in my first year I was playing wing-back and wing-forward. In my second year I told him even more so I wanted to play midfield, and luckily I got the chance.

"Obviously I'll play anywhere but if I had to choose, midfield would be my favourite position."

Cribbin feels Kildare may not have been properly switched on when they conceded seven goals to Kerry in that All-Ireland quarter-final.

"We were so enthused by our performance against Cork and there was only a six- or seven-day turnaround so maybe there was a bit of tiredness. GPS results weren't as good. Not using that as an excuse but I think Kerry on their day can do that to a lot of teams. We were subject to that.

"I did a couple of interviews after the Cork game and I said it was great to give a bit of hope back to supporters. Then a week later we go out and give that performance against Kerry. It was very disheartening."

Meanwhile, RTE's Damien O'Reilly was just one of a host of Cavan personalities 'arrested' at the Boar's Head pub on Dublin's Capel Street recently and facing the prospect of a night in jail as part of an ambitious €200,000 fundraiser for Cavan GAA! O'Reilly was taking part in the Cavan County Board's 'Jailbreak', which will see nearly 60 people detained in Crumlin Road Jail next March. Each of the detainees has to raise €3,000 and are looking for support.

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