Bolton: McGeeney sacking 'disgraceful way to treat a manager'

Picture: INPHO/Colm O'Neill

Emmet Bolton has hit out at the club delegates who voted against keeping Kieran McGeeney on as Kildare senior manager, alleging that a good number of them have not even seen the panel train before.

McGeeney is no longer in charge of the Kildare senior footballers following a very tight vote at last night's County Board meeting in St. Conleth's Park. Delegates voted 29-28 against McGeeney continuing as the county's senior and Under-21 boss.

It was expected to be a narrow decision as there had been canvassing for a change of management among clubs in the county and those delegates followed through on that in terms of the voting.

It is a bitter pill for the Armagh man to swallow as sources suggested that the County Executive were keen for him to remain in place for possibly two more years, and the Kildare players were wholeheartedly behind him. Johnny Doyle even went as far to say 'the current management is the best we could have'.

Bolton, the all-action Kildare wing back, and Eamonn Callaghan, the Lilywhites' captain this season, had both publicly backed McGeeney to continue for a seventh year at the helm, with Bolton emphasising that the players 'truly believe he is the right man for the job'.

He cited the fact that Kildare have reached five All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals and a single semi-final during Geezer's reign, while he has 'blooded a lot of Under-21s over the last two years and got the Under-21s to an All-Ireland semi-final this year'.

But last night's vote in Newbridge left Bolton dismayed and the Eadestown clubman took to his Twitter page to vent his frustration at those responsible for McGeeney's axing.

"58 club delegates who have never seen us train went into a room tonight and decided what was best for us. They totally disregarded our opinions over the last couple of weeks," said Bolton.

"It's a disgraceful way to treat a man who put so much heart and effort into Kildare football. I'm gutted that Kieran is gone.

"The effort that he put in over the last six years is beyond belief. It was a privilege to learn and work under him."

Bolton's Kildare team-mate Brian Flanagan also tweeted: "The commitment, decency and professionalism shown by Geezer to his players over the past six years will not be forgotten by us, the players."

A couple of McGeeney's former Armagh colleagues also reacted to the news via the social media site, suggesting that Kildare GAA have made the wrong call on this one.

Ciaran McKeever, the Orchard County's current skipper, tweeted: "Know Geezer personally and the respect and pride he had for them Kildare boys and the drive to make them #1 was serious!! #kildaref***edup."

Steven McDonnell is the newly-appointed Armagh Under-21 manager and played in the Armagh senior side that McGeeney famously captained to All-Ireland glory 11 years ago.

McDonnell told his Twitter followers: "Kildare will regret that decision. Geezer is the ultimate professional in everything he does. The players wanted him. That says it all."

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