New Kerry football manager Peter Keane had full autonomy in selecting his backroom team, Kerry county board chairman Tim Murphy has insisted.
Keane, who was appointed for a three-year term at last night’s county board meeting, will have Donie Buckley (Castleisland Desmonds, coach), Tommy Griffin (Dingle, selector), James Foley (Kilcummin, selector) and Maurice Fitzgerald (St Mary’s Caherciveen, selector) in his backroom team.
Foley and Griffin worked with Keane during his three successful years as Kerry minor boss. Buckley was involved under Jack O’Connor earlier this decade, while Fitzgerald is the link to the outgoing management set-up.
Contrary to media reports, declared Murphy, there was no member of the new backroom team imposed on Keane by the selection committee which comprised of Murphy, county secretary Peter Twiss, development officer Éamonn Whelan and coaching officer Terence Houlihan.
“The manager did go away and choose [his own backroom team]. That is Peter Keane’s management team,” Murphy asserted.
We left our meeting with club delegates around seven weeks ago and there was a clear mandate from the delegates that we would return with a manager and his management team. Unfortunately, there was a narrative created from the media that we were imposing certain individuals on managers, which wasn’t the case.
“The manager was always going to be able to choose his management team. We wanted to bring a complete package to tonight’s meeting, as opposed to proposing a person and that person then going away and coming back in five or six weeks time [with their management team]. We are just reflecting the will of the meeting that we had a number of weeks ago.” Murphy said Peter Keane had put together a “strong and vibrant” management group. The county chairman said the selection committee met with four candidates before deciding on Keane.
Murphy took umbrage with the “media frenzy” surrounding the post and commentary which bemoaned the length of time which passed between Éamonn Fitzmaurice stepping down and his successor being appointed. The process of finding a new Kerry manager, Murphy revealed, did not begin until after Kerry’s All-Ireland minor final win in early September.
“This is a really, really strong management team that we have and the future is very bright for Kerry.” Having been part of the Kerry management team in 2017 and 2018, Maurice Fitzgerald remaining on board as a selector was important in terms of ensuring continuity.
“Maurice has been involved for the last two years and will bring a certain level of expertise that will be absolutely beneficial to Peter and the remainder of his management team. That link is important. He’d know a lot of the players intimately, having worked with them. The combination of Maurice from the previous management and an entirely new management team will compliment each other greatly.”
Joe O’Connor, who was part of Kerry’s strength and conditioning set-up in 2018, will not be part of the new management group.
“The management is currently putting a new strength and conditioning team in place. Hopefully, that will be sorted by next week,” the county board chairman told delegates.
Joe O’Connor has stepped away, primarily because of work commitments. We met Joe two weeks ago. The fact that he is involved with Limerick and has his gym business, the physical time that he could contribute this coming year wouldn’t be the same.
With Peter Keane moving up to the top job, the position of Kerry minor manager now sits vacant. Murphy is hopeful of filling the post by the end of this month.
“I would suggest and propose that the executive be allowed to nominate that manager and his management team over the next two to three weeks and that we bring forward formal ratification to the November meeting.”
Former Kerry county board chairman Patrick O’Sullivan (Dr Crokes) will contest the position of Munster Council vice-chairman when it becomes vacant in January of 2019. Murphy proposed his predecessor for the post at last night’s meeting.
The Kerry convention will take place on Monday, December 10. The position of development officer, currently held by Éamonn Whelan, will be by selection, not election.
At a Kilkenny county board meeting, Brian Cody has been confirmed as the Kilkenny senior hurling manager for 2019. Derek Lyng and James McGarry will continue as selectors. Michael Dempsey remains on as the trainer.