Kildare united behind McGeeney

Kildare united behind McGeeney

Kildare footballer Eoin Naughton has rubbished comments that former Armagh captain Kieran McGeeney is not cut out for the role of managing the Kildare senior football team.

"The whole panel have serious backing behind the whole management team at the moment," Naughton said.

"Paul Grimley, Niall Carew and Kieran McGeeney are serious men and they are putting everything into Kildare football because they know the potential that is there.

"They want to get it up to a high level."

And Naughton revealed that despite last month's shock Leinster SFC loss to Wicklow, McGeeney is not throwing in the towel just yet - he is committed to getting Kildare back on track.

"Kieran McGeeney said that he isn't going to leave Kildare football until it is up to a top level. He said that they (the County Board) might throw him out or get rid of him, but that he isn't leaving.

"He's not going to leave until he gets the potential and that potential comes through."

The DIT student picked up an Ulster Bank Rising Star award this week, following his strong performances for the college in the Sigerson Cup.

Naughton revealed that since the Wicklow game, the Lilywhites' squad have been more focused than ever.

They are hoping to bounce back through the qualifier route but their next game is still six weeks away.

"Training during the week and the challenge games at the weekend have kept lads going," he said.

"Challenge games at the weekend have helped us enormously and given us something to look forward to.

"It won't be long until the qualifiers, we have club championship action also and everything has picked up. Everyone has picked themselves up and we are all back training and focused again.

"We had a challenge game against Laois last weekend and despite starting slowly and losing at the end, we put in a strong performance, so things are looking up for us."

And Naughton knows about disappointments. Along with the senior loss to Wicklow, he was also on the Kildare team that was crushed by Kerry in the All-Ireland Under-21 final early last month.

"It has been very disappointing so far in Kildare this year, to know that the potential was there with both the Under-21 team and the seniors.

"What happened against Wicklow was so disappointing. You can't really explain what happened, I suppose it was a combination of a lot of things really.

"Wicklow were a good team and a combination of them playing very well against Kildare and Kildare just not performing. They are a very good team and they showed it against Laois. They were unlucky not to beat them," he added.

"We are in the qualifiers now. The potential in the panel is there and there is no reason why we can't get everything up and going again.

"Whatever draw we get, we'll just have to get up and get on with it and try and go as far as we can in the qualifiers."

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