Dublin sign new five-year €5m sponsorship deal with AIG
County board chairman Andy Kettle described it as “a really significant boost”
The new deal covers the treble-winning Dublin footballers, the Leinster-winning Dublin hurlers and the ladies football and camogie teams. Photograph: Inpho
It may be closed season on all intercounty playing activity but business remains brisk on several other fronts – including the signing of Dublin’s new five-year county sponsorship deal with insurance company AIG, worth somewhere in the region of €5 million.
This will not only ensure all the necessary preparation and support of the reigning All-Ireland football champions and their county’s hurlers through to 2018, but also the Dublin women’s footballers and camogie players, who for the first time are included “under the one sponsorship umbrella”, with the deal to commence on the first of next month.
County board chairman Andy Kettle described it as “a really significant boost to everyone associated with Dublin GAA” and that was no exaggeration, particularly as some counties still struggle to secure or renew sponsorship deals at the end of each season.
Indeed several counties are still in the process of completing managerial appointments for next year, the latest of which being Jason Ryan’s ratification last night as new Kildare football manager, to replace Kieran McGeeney.
The appointment happened to coincide with the earlier announcement that McGeeney has now agreed to return to his native Armagh to join up with their football manager Paul Grimley, who like Ryan, also served as assistant to McGeeney in Kildare.
McGeeney has also brought with him Julie Davis as new Armagh strength and conditioning coach, the role she also previously held with Kildare, while Grimley’s two additional selectors will be Peter McDonnell (who also formerly managed Armagh) and Martin McQuillan, with James Doyle also named as “speed” coach.
Ryan, meanwhile, although initially distancing himself from the list of likely replacements for McGeeney, appeared to have had his mind changed by members of the Kildare county executive.
The Waterford native, who also spent five quite successful seasons as Wexford manager, emerged as the preferred candidate partly due to the withdrawal of names such as former Kildare captain Glenn Ryan, who has opted to take a break after five seasons as Longford manager, and also former Kerry manager Jack O’Connor, who has resumed a new role with his native county by taking charge of the Kerry minors.
Kevin McStay, who guided Roscommon champions St Brigid’s to the All-Ireland club football title last March, also “thought he was in contention” but Kildare, it seems, didn’t pursue his interest any further.
McGeeney’s failure last month to gain a seventh season in charge of Kildare, by a single vote, caused much controversy, with his panel of players subsequently stating their unhappiness at the handling of the situation. However, McGeeney later released a statement of his own, keen to “draw a line” under his departure from the Kildare position: “There have been a lot of changes over the last 12 months and I really believe with the emergence of new talent alongside the experience and ability that exists in the squad it is only a matter of time before Kildare achieve what they have been working towards.”