Jason Ryan set to be ratified as new Kildare manager by board tonight
RTÉ pundit Kevin McStay informed that decision on vacancy all but taken
Jason Ryan (left) with then Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney at a National League match earlier this year. Ryan is set to be named McGeeney’s successor this evening. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.
Tonight’s Kildare County Board meeting is expected to ratify Jason Ryan as the new county football manager. Ryan, who worked with his predecessor Kieran McGeeney for the past year, previously managed Wexford to Leinster finals and an All-Ireland semi-final.
Former Mayo All Star and RTÉ pundit Kevin McStay, who managed Roscommon club St Brigid’s to this year’s All-Ireland club title, was thought to be in contention but was informed yesterday that the final decision had all but been taken.
Having acknowledged on RTÉ’s coverage of last week’s draw for the 2014 championships that he “thought he was in contention” for the Kildare position, McStay is believed to be disappointed with the process in that having agreed to talk about the position, the first conversation he had was to be informed that it had effectively already been filled.
Reacting to McGeeney’s removal last month, Ryan appeared to rule himself out of succeeding him and detailed the progress made during the season by the former manager.
“The work done this year was about the future as much as this season,” he said. “We brought in under-21 players and our targets would have been to stay in Division One of the league, maybe get to the Leinster final and reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals again.
“As it happened we not only retained our place in Division One but reached the league semi-finals. The championship was disappointing but overall, look at the year: Kildare football is in a healthy state. Aside from the league we won minor and under-21 Leinster titles.
“Even in the senior championship we were well beaten by a Dublin team that has reached the All-Ireland final and gave an exhibition last Sunday. The only teams to beat us in competitive games this year are Tyrone and Dublin – we lost to Down at a stage in the league when we’d already qualified for the play-offs.”
Another management vacancy expected to be filled this evening was in Offaly where a successor to outgoing hurling manager Ollie Baker had been due to be ratified. That will not now take place after it emerged late last night that the candidate to be recommended had withdrawn his name from consideration.
Former Offaly All-Ireland medalist Danny Owens, who at the weekend led Kilcormac-Killoughey to back- to-back county titles and last March to the All-Ireland club final, said on Sunday that he had not been approached about the county position.