McGeeney extends Kildare reign

Kieran McGeeney will continue as Kildare senior football manager for the next three years, having impressed when guiding the Lilywhites through to this year's All-Ireland SFC semi-finals.

Kildare County Board Chairman Padraig Ashe has today confirmed that McGeeney has agreed a new three-year deal with the county, taking him up until the end of the 2013 season.

The contract extension, which comes following discussions last night, is subject to ratification at the October meeting of the Kildare County Board.

During McGeeney's three-year reign to date, Kildare have reached an All-Ireland semi-final, two All-Ireland quarter-finals and a Leinster final.

The 38-year-old, who captained Armagh to All-Ireland glory in 2002, spoke to radio station Kfm recently about strengthening the structures in Kildare football and bringing through young talent.

Excited about the Lilywhites' immediate future, he said: "We brought (minor players) Fionn Dowling, Tommy Moolick and Cribbo (Paul Cribbin) in, three great players and to be honest, they were a lot closer (to the team) than people would actually have given them credit for. There are some fine footballers coming through.

"I still think we can work so much harder on what's there as well and I think there's probably another two or three minors from that team that are capable of making the grade up.

"There's also structures to be put in place. Alan Barry's done a great job last year with the Under-21s. People just see results but that isn't what structures and development pathways are all about.

"It's about providing players to play at the ultimate level and that's what (minor manager) Bryan Murphy, Alan Barry and Glenn (Ryan) when he was here (with the Under-21s) have done.

"You're bringing players through that want to play for their jersey. They've passion, they've pride, they want to work hard and they come through to the senior team with a different ethos that maybe players in the past have come through.

"That’s what you're looking to do, and you step back into the development squads."

He added: "I suppose all those things have an impact on the future of Kildare. It's part of what I do for a living.

"I've been involved in sports development and sports strategic planning for a long time both north and south of the border and I think with a few small tweaks here and there Kildare can really make huge leaps and bounds towards being one of the top-tier counties in the country on a consistent basis and not maybe every other decade or something like that."

2010 was McGeeney's most promising year in the Kildare hotseat. After a disappointing loss to Louth in the Leinster Championship, their fortunes were improved dramatically with victories over Antrim, Leitrim, Derry, Monaghan and Meath before Down ended their All-Ireland run at the penultimate stage.

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