Doyle insists McGeeney crucial to Kildare breakthrough as Tyrone call a halt to Lilywhites’ campaign
“I don’t think it is a coincidence we are seeing success at underage. It’s Kieran’s involvement. He drives the whole thing. Every young lad in the place now wants to play with Kildare.”
Tyrone’s Aidan McCrory tackles Kildare’s Paddy Brophy at Newbridge. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Tyrone 1-11 Monaghan 0-12
When the anger and devastation subside, Kildare people might listen to their longest -serving son.
Despite the ineptitude of this performance, Johnny Doyle made an impassioned plea for Kieran McGeeney to be allowed return as manager for a seventh season.
That may be a key factor in the veteran forward, 37 next January but worryingly still the Lilywhites’ main scoring outlet, playing on for a 15th season.
“I think it is imperative that the management, led by Kieran, stays on,” said Doyle. “I can’t over-talk how much Kieran means to this county. He puts his life into it. I don’t think it is a coincidence we are seeing success at underage. The minors are going strong still. It’s Kieran’s involvement. He drives the whole thing. Every young lad in the place now wants to play with Kildare.
“The one thing about Kieran is he is such a selfless person. He will do what he thinks is best for Kildare not what is best for Kieran McGeeney.”
And yourself Johnny?
“Who knows? I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been involved for a long number of years and enjoyed every minute of it. Today is not the day to be making that decision. We’ll see what next year brings but there is a very talented bunch of players coming on.
“Hopefully if they keep knocking at the door it will eventually open.”
Maybe they should try using a key because the hinges remain intact.
The Newbridge crowd were fuming with the nine first-half wides and some awful distribution. It’s why Dublin did them by 16 points in the Leinster semi-final. It’s why they have not taken the next step.
In the first half Kildare foot or hand-passes constantly missed their intended target. It was a shockingly poor exhibition of the basic skills.
“It did look nervy,” said McGeeney. “Fist passes going astray gave them 1-3 at the start there. Fellas don’t do it on purpose. It just happens. Ach, you know, it can just get to you but the more big matches you get the more you get rid of it.”
On the rare occasion that a Tyrone build-up went to ground, Peter Harte nimbly turned before chipping to a supporting team-mate.
Mickey Harte sides still counter-punch better than anyone. On nine minutes Kildare teenager Niall Kelly blazed over a goal chance. Instantly, Ryan McKenna was galloping out of defence, finding Mark Donnelly who supplied Stephen O’Neill who offloaded to the flying McKenna who fed the excellent Matthew Donnelly.