Saturday 24 February 2018

McGeeney's reign as Kildare boss ends

Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney has left his position
Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney has left his position

Kieran McGeeney's reign as Kildare manager has been brought to end after a meeting of the Kildare County Board this evening voted for a change of management

Despite a number of players going public with the desire to keep the 2002 All-Ireland winning captain on board, he lost a vote this evening of club delegates by 29 to 28.

The Irish Independent flagged on Saturday that there was growing discontent among clubs in the county at McGeeney's performance in recent years and that his future with the Lilywhites was in doubt.

The likes of Darragh ó Sé and Kevin McStay are already being touted as possible replacements.

Since taking over at Kildare in 2008, the Lilywhites made it to five All-Ireland quarter finals and were desperately unlucky to be beaten by Down in an All-Ireland semi-final in 2010.

A heavy defeat to Cork in 2012 was followed up by a 16- point drubbing at the hands of Dublin in this season's Leinster semi-final and an early exit from the Championship in the third round of the qualifiers in Newbridge.

Journalists who had gathered for the meeting were asked to wait outside before the issue was debated.

The decision could trigger the retirement of Johnny Doyle who has been very vocal in his support for McGeeney since Kildare's exit from the Championship.

Kildare panellist Hugh Lynch tweeted afterwards: "So much for player power #gutted."

Daniel Flynn, who was blooded by McGeeney this year and was part of Kildare's Leinster under-21 winning team, tweeted: "Absolutely sick! Joke that people who haven't got a clue about what goes on behind the scenes have an input atal, let alone the final say!!."

Emmet Bolton, an All-Star nominee in 2011, tweeted: "Gutted that Kieran is gone. The effort he put in over the last 6years is beyond belief. It was a privilege to learn and work under him."

Kildare's captain in 2013, Naas player Eamonn Callaghan, tweeted: "I've never been ashamed in my life to be a Kildare footballer, until tonight!! #gutted."

By Cormac Byrne

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