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Saturday July 04, 2020

O’Neill steps down as Kildare manager

courtesy of RTE

O'Neill says the time is right to step away after four years in charge of the Kildare footballers

Cian O’Neill says the failure of the Kildare footballers to reach their potential under his watch is the primary reason he has decided to step down after four years in charge.

The Lilywhites had six championship outings in 2019, but defeat to Tyrone in the third round of the qualifiers brought an end to their campaign.

He remained coy after that defeat about his future, but informed the County Board of his decision on Monday evening.

“Unfortunately, the successes of consecutive promotions from Division 3 to Division 1, a first Leinster final in eight years and progression to the Super 8s in 2018 was met with equal disappointment across these four years where frustratingly we didn’t always reach our potential as a group,” he said in a statement.

“As manager, this is my greatest regret and ultimately my responsibility, and this undoubtedly informed my decision to step away from this role.

“This will hopefully leave time and space for my successor and the chosen group of players to take the challenge to a new level under a new direction.”

O’Neill worked as a strength and conditioning coach with the Limerick footballers, Tipperary hurlers (including their All-Ireland win in 2010) and Mayo footballers before being headhunted by new Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice in 2012 and was a key member of the backroom team that won the All-Ireland two years later.

The former Moorefield player took over from Jason Ryan in 2015 and led his native county to back-to-back promotions in the league.

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