Jack O’Connor could have Kieran Donaghy as part of his prospective Kerry managerial ticket.
As the selection subcommittee begin to interview candidates for the role, three-time All-Ireland SFC winning manager O’Connor might be in a position to confirm the 2006 Footballer of the Year as a coach and selector.
Currently working with Kieran McGeeney in Armagh as a forward coach having been a performance advisor to the Galway’s hurlers in 2019, Donaghy would be a major addition to a backroom group.
The Austin Stacks man, 38, was handed his debut by O’Connor and won two of his four Celtic Crosses under him, 2006 when his move to full-forward transformed Kerry’s season and the 2009 victory over Cork. Armagh are understood to be aware of the interest in Donaghy in his native county.
Current U20 manager Declan O’Sullivan, O’Connor’s Dromid Pearses club-mate and a selector to him during his time as U21 boss, may also have a role to play in the possible set-up. Although, were that to be the case, it is not certain that he would remain in charge of the under-age team.
Peter Keane, who has given no indication that he wishes to step aside having completed his initial three-year term, would also be expected to freshen up his management team. An attempt was made to bring Paul Galvin on board for this past season but the uncertainty around the season at the time was enough reason for the 2009 footballer of the year to say no.
Players held a meeting this past weekend but it is believed it was more an end-of-season assessment and the management was not discussed. However, it is known there is support for Keane in the group.
Meanwhile, Tom Cribbin is the frontrunner to be Kildare senior football manager with former Galway and Sligo manager Kevin Walsh possibly linking up as coach. Clane man Cribbin, a selector under Cian O’Neill and O’Connor, has been in charge of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
Galway’s two-time All-Ireland winning midfielder Walsh guided his native county to two Connacht titles in 2016 and ‘18.