Thursday 14 November 2019

Fitzmaurice takes senior reins as Kerry ring changes

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Eamonn Fitzmaurice was confirmed last night as the new Kerry football manager for the next three years -- just over two weeks after Jack O'Connor stepped down.

And Darragh O Se will take over as manager of the U-21 team on a two-year term as a night of sweeping changes provided the pathway for the future management of Kerry teams.

In keeping with the trend of most managerial appointments this summer, there was great expediency to the succession, following on from Paul Grimley with Armagh and Emmett McDonnell in Offaly.

But Fitzmaurice won't reveal his back-room team until the county board meeting in October as he's eager to get Seamus Moynihan to come on board. There is also speculation that a high-profile trainer from outside the county may join the back-room team.

Mikey Sheehy and Diarmuid Murphy, who was with O'Connor as a selector for the last two years, are thought to be prepared to join Fitzmaurice as selectors.

Fitzmaurice, who joined the Kerry back-room team after the Munster championship exit to offset the loss of Donie Buckley, was initially reluctant to take over from O'Connor, but with the latter determined not to continue and with options thin on the ground, he was left with little room to manoeuvre.

O Se's appointment will also be welcomed in the county and he will will be joined by Harry O'Neill -- who was a fellow U-21 selector under Fitzmaurice this year and coached Dr Crokes to the Munster club title last December -- Noel Kennelly and John Shanahan.

Meanwhile, Liam Bradley has stepped down as Antrim boss after four years, fuelling speculation that he's in the running to be the next Derry manager. Malachy O'Rourke is the favourite to take over from John Brennan who has not stepped down, but has not been given an automatic green light to continue.

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