Glenn Ryan rules himself out of contention to succeed Kieran McGeeney at Kildare
Cork only beginning process to replace Conor Counihan
Glenn Ryan: “I was managing Longford for five years, was with the Kildare Under-21s before that and went straight into that from playing so this will be my first winter off since 1988.” Photograph: Inpho
Kildare’s search for a football manager to replace Kieran McGeeney looks set to continue into the winter months after Glenn Ryan ruled himself out of contention.
Ryan, one of the county’s greatest servants over a 16-year intercounty career which included captaining them to the 1998 All-Ireland final, gave an understandable reason for not seeking the position.
Ryan, 41 this month, has been involved in some form of intercounty activity for 25 years.
“I met with [Kildare county board chairman] John McMahon recently just to rule myself out of contention,” he said yesterday. “It’s very straight forward. I was managing Longford for five years, was with the Kildare Under-21s before that and went straight into that from playing so this will be my first winter off since 1988.”
Another candidate formally ruled out of contention last night was Jack O’Connor. The Kerry’s three-time All-Ireland winning manager was ratified as his native county’s new minor manager.
Local radio in Kildare recently reported that McMahon also met O’Connor.
McGeeney’s assistant coach, the former Wexford manager Jason Ryan, remains an obvious candidate.
McMahon was expected to go before a Kildare board gathering tonight, but the meeting was postponed until next week.
He refused to make any comment when contacted earlier by The Irish Times.
McGeeney was removed from his position, having been in charge for six years, when the Kildare clubs voted 29 to 28 on September 3rd.
The football panel reacted with a statement condemning the democratic process, while offering complete support for McGeeney’s retention.
“I think it is imperative that the management, led by Kieran, stays on,” said Johnny Doyle after defeat to Tyrone in July’s qualifier in Newbridge. “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. It’s Kieran’s involvement. He drives the whole thing. Every young lad in the place now wants to play with Kildare.”
The panel added after McGeeney’s removal earlier this month: “The players feel that our county board has let us down greatly throughout this process and our manager has been treated with a complete lack of respect and loyalty following his six years at the helm. Kieran’s reputation was frequently impugned at times by comments made over the past few weeks.
“We believe that the county board management committee should have used the powers available to them to reappoint Kieran McGeeney as senior football team manager for 2014 in accordance with their own wishes and those of the players. In not doing so they abdicated their responsibility and must accept much of the blame for the situation that the county now finds itself in.” They went on to brand the county board as “dysfunctional and lacking in both leadership and unity” but McGeeney ended this stand-off by ruling out any notion that he would return.
Longford hope to announce a replacement for Ryan within the next fortnight, according to secretary Peter O’Reilly.
Meanwhile, Cork are only beginning the process of selecting a replacement for their football manager Conor Counihan as the appointments committee was preoccupied by hurling until this week.
County board chairman Bob Ryan is joined on the committee by secretary Frank Murphy, vice chairman Ger Lane and club delegates Dermot O’Regan (Douglas), Paul McCarthy (Kinsale) and Frank Long (Bandon).
The players are not represented.
Counihan stepped down immediately after defeat to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final on August 3rd. A Cork spokesman stated a new management team would be announced in the next “two to three weeks”.