County chairman Tim Murphy insists that the two-year extension to Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s tenure as county senior football manager was “the best outcome for Kerry”.
Some delegates attending Wednesday’s meeting of the county board expressed misgivings about the length of the term offered to the Finuge man but Murphy said that such a timescale was vital “in order to provide a stable platform.”
And he noted that despite all the successes enjoyed by Kerry across the grades this season, an All-Ireland SFC title appears to be “the only currency that seems to matter.”
Murphy also revealed he had met with Fitzmaurice six times since the Kingdom’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay exit to Mayo to discuss his willingness to remain at the helm.
Murphy told delegates: “I want to make a statement to give clubs the background to where we are coming from with this proposal to ratify Éamonn for a further two years at the end of 2018.
“Firstly, I believe that my role and the role of the executive are to provide the best leadership we can in Kerry to progress football in the county.
“At the outset, I want to sincerely thank many club delegates who are within this room and many club officers who contacted me personally after the Mayo defeat and right up to last weekend, who expressed their concerns, their views and offered suggestions on how we might progress and move forward.
“I know other club delegates here and club officers have contacted other members of the executive and their contributions have been passed on.
“I would have to say that a lot of the sentiment and suggestions that were passed on were shared by the executive and myself. What it did do was that it enabled me to articulate those views in a meaningful way in my discussions with Éamonn Fitzmaurice.
“I had six meetings with Éamonn since our defeat against Mayo and those meetings ranged from two hours to four hours.
“I have to reiterate what I said in my press release a month ago that despite winning the Allianz League, the Munster final, the All-Ireland Minor title and all the success we have had at underage level, we all fully recognise the hunger for senior championship success among our clubs and the GAA community in Kerry. It’s the only currency that seems to matter.
“Everyone knows that Éamonn has one year left in his current term. In my discussions with Éamonn it soon became apparent to me and to him that in order to provide a stable platform to build upon that a two-year extension was required. It is certainly the best outcome for Kerry”
The chairman then outlined why Kerry needed stability and certainty going forward and despite some misgivings from the floor the vast majority of clubs were happy to ratify Fitzmaurice for that extra two years without a vote.
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