By Tony Leen
Kerry GAA chairman Patrick O'Sullivan says he is "fairly relaxed" about Eamonn Fitzmaurice's future as the Kingdom's football manager - but admitted they will only get down to serious talking about a new term after Sunday's All-Ireland final.
Fitzmaurice concludes his three year term in charge of Kerry after Sunday's decider and is keeping his cards very close to his chest regarding a further term at the helm.
O'Sullivan offers a revealing insight into his time as County Board chairman in Saturday's Irish Examiner Sport, but on the Fitzmaurice question, he said: "Eamonn gave a commitment of three years to Kerry, which he has done.
"I have spoken to him and when everything calms down after the Championship, we are going to assess everything - where Eamonn wants to go with his life, and how that fits in with Kerry. I'd be confident whatever happens we will get things right for Kerry going forward - and hopefully with Eamonn involved."
The Kerry chairman added: "He has a massive enthusiasm for the game, and is a very deep thinker. When you win you get great enjoyment out of it, but when he took it on Kerry football was not in a great place, and it was a position not too many fellas would have taken. But Eamonn worked his magic."
O'Sullivan, who has Jack O'Connor in charge of the Kerry Under 21's next season and will drive the appointment of a new county minor manager in the coming weeks, said that in relation to Fitzmaurice, the focus has to be solely on Sunday's final for the time being.
"It's not an issue that will raise its head before October anyway. There is no point second guessing what Eamonn is thinking. If he was a poker player, he'd make a lot of money because he doesn't give away too much on what he is doing. But he's away from home, he's away from his wife Tina and travelling to and from Dingle every day to school. You begin this thing in the middle of December, go all the way to September hopefully. It's relentless, there's no break and it's our responsibility to keep Eamonn fresh too, and keep him on board."
The Kerry chairman added: "If you look at everything, the GPA was set up for players and what they should be getting, but even the most successful teams would be nowhere without the diligence and work of their management teams. People seem to forget about them a lot."