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Ryan Byrne/INPHO O'Neill was in charge of Kildare for four years.
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O'Neill resigns as Kildare boss after four years in charge
The Lilywhites manager informed his players and the county board on Monday night.

KILDARE FOOTBALL MANAGER Cian O’Neill has today announced his decision to step down from the position, two weeks after the Lilywhites’ championship summer ended at the hands of Tyrone.

O’Neill informed his players, management and the county board of his resignation on Monday night as he vacates the role after four years in charge, having taken over from Jason Ryan in 2015.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, Kildare GAA expressed its ‘sincere thanks to Cian for his hard work, commitments and for the professionalism that he brought to the role.’

Following a spell as Kerry selector on Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s backroom team, O’Neill guided Kildare to back-to-back league promotions in his first two seasons, after they had slumped to Division 3 relegation under Ryan. 

In his second season, O’Neill masterminded Kildare’s run to the Leinster senior football championship final, and while they reached the Super 8s in 2018, defeat to Tyrone in Round 3 of the qualifiers last month has marked the end of his reign. 

“As a proud Kildare man, it was an honour and privilege to have been given the opportunity to work with an exceptional group of players, each one of us doing our best to represent our clubs and county with distinction at all times,” he said in a statement.

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

“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.”

- Originally published at 12.00 

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