Jack O'Connor to be named new Kildare manager

Jack O'Connor to be named new Kildare manager

Jack O’Connor, who guided his native Kerry to three All-Ireland titles, will be ratified as the new Kildare senior manager early next month.

Kildare GAA officials have confirmed they will recommend O’Connor (58) to the county board executive for ratification at a meeting on September 3.

O’Connor is no stranger to Kildare football, having been involved in a coaching capacity with the Moorefield club, where his sons Eanna and Cian play.

O’Connor has taken early retirement from his teaching post in Caherciveen, which has given him the latitude to consider the Kildare proposal.

He will replace Cian O’Neill, who stepped down from the Kildare post after four years at the helm.

O’Connor has been in charge of the Kerry Under 20s for the past three campaigns, his last game in charge being the Munster final defeat to eventual All-Ireland champions Cork last month.

However, his credentials as a top-flight manager are beyond dispute, guiding Kerry to senior All-Ireland wins in 2004 and 2006 against Mayo, and again in 2009 against Cork, when he returned to the Kingdom hot seat for a second spell in charge.

Kildare attempted to dampen speculation linking O’Connor with the position last week by issuing a statement to the effect that there was no decision made.

That process has since advanced to the point where Board officials are now prepared to take his proposed appointment to the executive for ratification.

Just as former Kerry and Kildare manager Mick O’Dwyer ended up coaching against one of his former players (Paidi Ó Se v Kerry in 1998), O’Connor could find himself in a sideline battle of wits with new Wexford manager Paul Galvin

in 2020.

The Finuge man won three All-Ireland senior medals under Jack O’Connor.

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