Wednesday 21 March 2018

Kerry have 'unfinished business' - Fitzmaurice

Eamonn Fitzmaurice admits he did question his future for ‘a day or two’ after the defeat to Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Eamonn Fitzmaurice admits he did question his future for ‘a day or two’ after the defeat to Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Eamonn Fitzmaurice has revealed that he made a decision to continue as Kerry manager as early as July and believes there is a sense of "unfinished business" among the squad.

Fitzmaurice was confirmed as Kerry manager for a further two years on Tuesday and admits he didn't agonise over the decision for too long.

"I had spoken to Patrick O'Sullivan (Kerry County Board chairman) earlier on in the year during the league and we had spoken again in July after the Munster Final. I pretty much made the decision at that stage that I was going to stay on."

Fitzmaurice admits he did question himself in the days after the defeat to Dublin but is happy to have signed on for a further two years after taking soundings from the squad.

"I had spoken to the players about it as well because obviously that is the most important thing. It is not so much about me as about the players because they are still buying into what we are trying to do and that we are still fresh enough for them to get them to the levels that we need to get to.

"So that was an important consideration as well. It wasn't a decision that was made in the last week of course.

"Maybe after the Dublin game I might have been questioning myself for a day or two perhaps. But once you thaw out ... like I said there's unfinished business there and we just want to keep going and get it that step further".

Fitzmaurice also revealed that he had yet to speak to some of his senior players who may step away but he hinted that they will not be forced out the door.

"People are mad anxious to retire players and get rid of them as quickly as they can and as soon as they're gone then, they're wondering who's going to fill the void. I think what people miss a lot of the time is what players are bringing to the pitch and the older players have brought a lot to the pitch this year for us."


In a separate interview with Raidio na Gaeltachta, Fitzmaurice agreed that having suffered four losses on the bounce to Dublin, they needed to stop the rot. And he also conceded that perhaps they had erred in subbing Paul Geaney in the defeat to the Dubs.

"Dublin have the upper hand on us at the moment, and it's hard for any Kerryman to admit that ... We need to win a match against Dublin, and we need to do it soon. We have what it takes.

"Perhaps we should have left Paul on the pitch. He's the best forward in the country at the moment. It may have been a mistake. But the analysis always points to the person who's not there as the key to a win, but that's too easy."

Fitzmaurice has yet to finalise his backroom team but expressed a wish that the current management team would remain in place.

Meanwhile, Roscommon football chiefs met last night to discuss their next move after the disintegration of their managerial ticket of Kevin McStay and Fergal O'Donnell.

The pair met with some of the county's top brass on Tuesday night and afterwards, O'Donnell and selectors Stephen Bohan and David Casey stepped away, citing a "concerted effort to undermine and disparage us."

"It is with much regret and disappointment that myself, Stephen Bohan and David Casey have decided to resign from our roles as joint manager and selectors with the Roscommon senior football team," read the statement.

"Our decision to depart now is made in the best interests of Roscommon football and with a view to removing the inevitable distraction that would result from a potentially divisive contest for the position of manager between myself and Kevin (McStay).

"Recently, a concerted effort has been made (outside of management and players) to undermine and disparage us and it is especially disappointing and damaging that those involved purport to be concerned about the promotion of GAA within the county."

"We wish the team every success in the future."

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