Monday 22 January 2018

Pat Spillane expects Eamonn Fitzmaurice to step down and suggested a familiar replacement

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Newsdesk Newsdesk

Kerry legend Pat Spillane expects Eamonn Fitzmaurice to call time on his tenure as Kerry manager after they exited the championship today at the hands of reigning champions Dublin

Fitzmaurice has been in charge of the Kingdom for four years and led his native county to victory in the 2014 All-Ireland.

Speaking on The Sunday Game on RTE, Pat Spillane said: "When Fitzmaurice took over the team, the future was very bleak but they got to an All-Ireland in the first year and they won an All-Ireland two years ago.

"What he has done has been brilliant, he's four years in charge now. He took on the job for another year this year, I can't see him staying on.

"I think the team needs rebuilding now.

"There are brilliant footballers coming through but you don't suddenly make a team overnight, it'll take a couple of years.

"A lot will depend on the manager, maybe Jack O'Connor.."

A dejected Fitzmaurice lamented his side's difficulty to score in the second half.

"We felt we put ourselves in a good position at half time," the Kerry boss told RTÉ Sport.

"We played well in the second half of the first half, but you have to give Dublin a lot of credit, we had them rattled at half-time, but a lot of teams are good at using half-time to right the ship and they just managed to pull away with two points in injury time.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get a score going the other way."

The Kerry boss praised Dublin and said the semi-final battle would stand them in good stead for the final against Mayo.

"Any team to have gone unbeaten as long as they have are a serious outfit," he said. "We gave them a great gut check today and they'll be well ready for an All-Ireland final in three weeks.

"It was a great battle and a great team came out on top.

"We have them a great gut check today."

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