O'Neill stops short of denying Kerry move

Cian O'Neill (right)

Highly-regarded coach Cian O'Neill has refused to rule out a potential move to Eamonn Fitzmaurice's new Kerry management team.

Marked out as one of the best GAA strength and conditioning coaches in the country, O'Neill is leaving beaten All-Ireland SFC finalists Mayo after assisting them this past season.

The Kildare man is based in Limerick, working as a lecturer in the University of Limerick, and confirmed that his departure from the Mayo set-up was based on the affects of the long commute to Castlebar.

Having had two discs in his back removed in 2009 following a car accident, he told the Irish Examiner: "I'm being seen to leave Mayo after just a year but there was never any chance of me doing a second year.

"My back has got worse with the driving and the five-and-a-half hour round trips were causing problems for my health. That is the only reason why I won't be with Mayo next year."

He confirmed that he spoke with new Kerry boss Fitzmaurice in recent weeks, but only to give his advice on appointing a suitable physical trainer for the Kingdom set-up.

With Fitzmaurice seeking a replacement for Alan O'Sullivan, O'Neill added: "Eamonn was looking for a physical trainer and I gave him three names. There was nothing spoken about in terms of leaving Mayo.

"Eamonn was interested in discussing physical trainers and that's not my area anymore and Eamonn does the coaching himself. Anything else wasn't discussed at any great length."

O'Neill may be attempting to quell media talk of his reported switch to the Kerry set-up, however, suggesting that he would be "interested in a position closer to Limerick".

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