Thursday 22 February 2018

Kildare legend Ryan tipped to replace axed McGeeney

Glenn Ryan is being tipped as the next manager of Kildare
Glenn Ryan is being tipped as the next manager of Kildare
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

FORMER Lilywhite hero Glenn Ryan is tipped to emerge as the man who will heal the rifts in Kildare after the controversial removal of Kieran McGeeney as manager on Tuesday.

As the squad met last night to consider a group response, Ryan is widely regarded as the most likely successor. He stood down as Longford manager last month, having completed a five-year term.

He took over as Longford manager in 2008 at the end of a season which he led Kildare to a Leinster U-21 title, prior to losing the final to Kerry.

Ryan, an iconic figure in Kildare in his playing days, during which he led them to Leinster titles in 1998 and 2000, was always regarded as likely to manage the county but the position was locked down by McGeeney since 2008.

However, in the wake of Tuesday's 29-28 vote by the county board to remove McGeeney, the focus will switch to Ryan. Kerry trainer and Kildare native Cian O'Neill has also been touted as a possible successor but Ryan is still likely to have the popular backing in the county.

Ryan's status within his native county would quicken the healing process among a squad which has expressed their outrage over the way McGeeney was treated.

Several of them took to Twitter to vent their fury over the county board decision, sparking fears of a possible backlash against a new appointment.

However, it would be difficult for them to sustain an argument against Ryan, who has accumulated vast experience with Longford over five seasons and whose pedigree as a Kildare legend is unquestioned.

Meanwhile, Limerick hurling manager John Allen met with county board officials last night and another meeting is planned after the weekend.

County chairman Oliver Mann hopes to be in a position to brief club delegates on whether Allen will continue as manager at a county board meeting next Tuesday night.

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