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Kerry legend Donaghy explains how work situation allows for new Armagh coaching role

‘I’m hoping I can go up and add a different voice, a different viewpoint, and a fresh set of eyes.’

Next chapter: Kieran Donaghy.
Next chapter: Kieran Donaghy.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

KERRY LEGEND KIERAN Donaghy is relishing the “huge challenge” his new coaching role with the Armagh senior footballers brings, with his current work situation allowing for the venture.

The Orchard county confirmed yesterday that the four-time All-Ireland winner will link up with Kieran McGeeney for the 2021 season. 

And speaking to Off The Ball today, Donaghy explained how it all came about, and how his work situation with PST sport will allow the travel from Tralee, with a big project upcoming in Enniskillen.

“I was lucky enough to play with Kieran in the international rules in 2006. He coached me in 2011 down in Australia and I was very impressed with the way he went about it along with Anthony Tohill.

“We’ve kept in touch. He’s got a good Kerry woman by his side so he’s down in Kerry quite a bit, in Ballymac. It’s something that we’ve probably talked about for a bit, that he’s hopped off me before.

“I’ve been doing quite a bit of work with PST in Dublin. We have a big pitch starting in Enniskillen in about two months time, and there’s another project up there coming up. Thankfully I don’t have to go over to the UK anymore, I was doing that for probably a year so that’s been taken out of my hands.

It’s Ireland and Northern Ireland I look after in my role as sales director so I’m up there quite a bit and it will allow me to use my work schedule and the Armagh coaching schedule in a similar fashion like I would have done with ye [media work with OTB] over the two few years. Staying in a hotel the odd night is lonely enough and this will keep me busy.”

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While sharing his excitement for the challenge ahead, the Austin Stacks man spoke about how he’d like to bring “half-a-percentage” to Armagh, having joint-managed IT Tralee in this season’s Sigerson Cup — the future there is in limbo, he also explained — and worked with the Galway hurlers. 

“Kieran talked to me at the end of last year a small bit, we met a few times over the past few weeks and months. I watched his Armagh side against Mayo in Castlebar, they lost by a point in the qualifiers last year and I was extremely impressed with them and the young talent they had.

Kieran’s been there six years now, there’s great continuity in the set-up. The backroom team he already has in place is outstanding. I’m just hoping I can go up and add a different voice and a different viewpoint, and a fresh set of eyes is probably something that’s big on Kieran’s hit list as well.

“It’s very exciting. Coaching is something I’m very passionate about and trying to learn.

“I’m very excited to get the chance to learn from someone like Kieran McGeeney who went straight out of his playing days and straight into management, took that Kildare side to the verge of an All-Ireland final and has done great work with this Armagh side.”

Donaghy talks about his new role and coaching career so far for the first six minutes of the video below:

Source: Off The Ball/YouTube

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Emma Duffy

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