Fintan O’Connor has stepped down as Kerry hurling manager after five years in charge.
During his time at the helm in the Kingdom, O’Connor led the county to two Joe McDonagh Cup final appearances (2020 and 2021) and two Division 2 League final appearances (2019 and 2020).
All four final appearances ended in defeat, the most recent of which being this season’s McDonagh Cup decider where Kerry came up short against Westmeath.
“I have spent five brilliant years involved with Kerry hurling but now is the time for me to step aside,” said O’Connor in his parting statement.
“It’s been a wonderful journey, with so many highlights along the way. We contested two National League finals and two Joe McDonagh Cup finals, while I was also fortunate to be involved with the three Kerry U20B teams who won All-Ireland titles.
“I’d like to sincerely thank each and every one of the Kerry players I’ve worked with along the way for allowing me to be part of the story. You are Kings in a County that’s famously known as the Kingdom – and I thank you most sincerely for your efforts.
“I’ll continue to follow the fortunes of Kerry hurling with keen interest. To the county board, the players, supporters and clubs, you have been a pleasure to deal with. I’ve made friends for life in the Kingdom – and I look forward to keeping in touch with so many of you.
“I’ll remember forever the other great days we had – beating Carlow to reach a first Joe McDonagh Cup final, getting the better of Cork at senior level in 2018, and overcoming Offaly to stay in the Joe McDonagh Cup.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to work on behalf of hurling people in this great county. I wish you all nothing but the very best of good fortune and success.” Kerry county board chairman Tim Murphy thanked O’Connor for his “incredible service” to Kerry hurling.
“Fintan’s term as senior hurling manager will be remembered as a very positive period during which time a great amount of stability was introduced and a sound platform was developed in an effort to further advance inter-county hurling in Kerry in a structured and well managed way.
“During his tenure Fintan has transitioned many players from U20 level into the senior ranks and Kerry have been very competitive over the past three years in particular.”