Kildare call a halt to the reign of Kieran McGeeney as manager
County board votes 29-28 to dispense with manager’s services
Kieran McGeeney: Failed to be reappointed for another two years with Kildare. Photo: Donall Farme/Inpho
Kieran McGeeney talks to his Kildare players after what turned out to be his final match as manager – the defeat to Tyrone in the qualifiers. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.
Kieran McGeeney has failed in the most dramatic circumstances to get approval for a seventh season as Kildare senior football manager, after club representatives last night decided against giving him their backing by a single vote, 29-28.
The news only emerged after some lengthy consideration at the county board meeting in Newbridge last night, where support for McGeeney was always likely to be hotly debated: some clubs had mandated their delegates to oppose the recommendation that McGeeney should get another two years in charge, although in the end he lost out by just the minimum of margins.
There was a large turn-out of delegates at St Conleth’s Park, although all local media were asked to leave the meeting while McGeeney’s future was discussed: he did however appear to have the unanimous backing of his players, Emmet Bolton among those to speak out in recent days by saying McGeeney had the “100 per cent backing of players”.
However the process will now begin to find a replacement, and so ends an ultimately disappointing end to the reign of the former Armagh All-Ireland winner, who despite high hopes of landing some silverware this season, saw his team narrowly beaten by Tyrone in the third round of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.
Meanwhile the future of Jim McGuinness as Donegal football manager will be decided on Friday when he attends a specially arranged meeting with club representatives - thought to be the last item of consideration before he signs on for a fourth year in charge.
McGuinness has already indicated that “all the systems have to be in place for me” and both agreement and assurances on the scheduling of club championships fixtures has been chief among them.
McGuinness is already back working in his parallel role as performance consultant of Celtic FC in Glasgow, and the county board have scheduled the meeting for Friday, in Ballybofey, as that was his next available date: it will also be attended by McGuinness’ backroom team of selectors Rory Gallagher and Maxi Curran and goalkeeping coach Pat Shovlin, the Donegal county executive and Competitions’ Control Committee,along with the secretaries, chairmen and managers of all senior and intermediate clubs within the county.
McGuinness already met with the county executive last Saturday week to outline his requirements, around the same time he discussed his future with his players. The Donegal county board met again on Monday night, and it was there, according to county board chairman Sean Dunnion, that “the idea of a meeting with county senior management was positively received”.
“We are attempting to find common ground,” Dunnion told the Donegal Democrat. “It was outlined that it’s in everyone’s best interest to reach a compromise. This meeting is part of the process to enable Jim to make his decision, and the main crux of the meeting will be the scheduling of the club championship fixtures for 2014.”
Meanwhile Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly has said he will let the county board know “within a week” whether or not he intends staying in charge for 2014, with all the indications being that he will. The Limerick county board however may have a more difficult task in securing the services of hurling manager John Allen for another year, with strong speculation that Allen is considering ending his term after two years.
County chairman Oliver Mann has indicated he will meet with Allen before the weekend, with the “aim that he (Allen) stays on for at least 2014”.