Doyle: "I think Kieran needs to stay on." ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Management matters

'The current management is the best we could have': Doyle backs McGeeney to stay as Kildare boss

Kildare veteran Johnny Doyle says there is no need to visit the question of retirement just yet.

KILDARE LEGEND JOHNNY Doyle has once again backed Kieran McGeeney to continue in his role as manager of the Lilywhites.

Doyle publicly backed McGeeney in the wake of Kildare’s exit to Tyrone in the qualifiers in July and he has re-iterated those sentiments following this week’s endorsement from Kildare captain Eamonn Callaghan for the former Armagh All-Ireland winning captain to stay on.

“Absolutely, that would be very much my approach as well, I think Kieran needs to stay on.

“We are judged for what happens when we cross the white line as players. I know that a lot of Kildare supporters think that we have gone backwards this year with the Dublin performance and the Tyrone game and we as players know that we didn’t perform, we expect certain standards of ourselves and we didn’t live up to those standards.

“But as someone on the inside of the circle, someone who is close to what went on, my biggest disappointment is that we let the fans down, but also that we let the management down.”

There was not a stone left unturned by the management team to get us ready for this year, they put so much work into getting us right for the championship, but on the big days we as players didn’t produce. Going forward I have no doubt that the current management team is the best that we could possibly have and they are the ones to take Kildare forward.

Jason Ryan was drafted in to replace Niall Carew in Kieran McGeeney’s backroom team for the 2013 campaign and Doyle has nothing but praise for the former Wexford manager’s work with the panel since he joined.

“I think Jason came in and changed things up in training, he did a lot of one-on-one coaching with players and maybe we haven’t seen the full benefits of that work just yet either. There has been tremendous work done though, and I know it can be easy for people on the outside looking in to say that the hard work hasn’t been done but it has.

“I mean you have to just look at where we are now under Kieran. We have gone from a situation where we were hoping to win a first round game to competing with the very best every year.”

Football at underage in the county is going well, Kildare is a high profile county again in terms of exposure and every young lad in the county wants to play for Kildare now. You drive through the county now and in every town and village you will see at least two or three lads wearing a Kildare jersey. That’s the future, that’s the investment that we have seen over the last few years.

“We would of course love to bring home some silverware to back that up, and I can tell you, every player is trying their hardest to make sure we do that as soon as possible.”

Whether or not Doyle will be part of that search for a first Leinster title since 2000 next year remains to be seen. The Allenwood man remains coy on the subject of his retirement.

“To be honest over the last few years that question has come up a lot, but I’m not really thinking about it right now. I’ve been an absentee all year from Allenwood and I’m just enjoying being back with the club playing again, at the minute.

“I really don’t know what I am going to do but I don’t think there is any need to visit that question just yet either. I know I can’t go on forever but I honestly haven’t thought about [retirement] and I see no reason why I need to just yet.”


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Brian Lawless / Sportsfile

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