Donie Buckley was removed as coach and selector of the Kerry senior football team, the Irish Examiner understands.
The Castleisland man was informed of Peter Keane’s decision 24 hours before county chairman Tim Murphy’s statement confirming his exit was released on the Kerry website on Saturday morning.
Sources close to the camp say despite tensions in recent months, Buckley had been planning for Friday’s training session when he was told he would not be part of the management team going forward.
Buckley’s last game as part of the management team came in Castlebar last weekend when Kerry edged out Mayo, who he coached for six seasons up to 2018 before linking up again with his native county. Popular with players in both counties, his departure followed months of rumours that his future in the Kerry set-up was uncertain.
Murphy’s statement on Saturday read: “On behalf of the Board, the senior football panel & management and Kerry Supporters, I want to thank Donie for his very valuable contribution to the development of our players over the past 18 months and wish him the very best in the future.
“It is not intended to make any further appointments to the senior football management team. The existing management team will continue to take responsibility for all aspects of team preparation and selection.”
It is the second time Buckley has left a Kerry senior management team; he chose to step away prior to the 2012 championship.
In last week’s Irish Examiner GAA podcast, Seamus Moynihan queried the amount of input Buckley was having in the Kerry camp. “I think Donie Buckley is unbelievable and I’d like to see him given more time with the players. He turned Mayo — who were one of the easiest teams to walk through, because they didn’t want to know about tackling — into one of the best in the country.
“That was down to his training and his ethos. We have the powder up front, we have some unbelievable forwards, we just need to tighten up. When we go up eight points, we’re not certain we’re going to win the game and that should not be the case.”