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'Let's see what the alternative is' - Ó Sé believes Kerry job should be re-advertised

‘I’m not closing the door on Peter Keane at all, I think he should still have his name in there.’

Kerry manager Peter Keane.
Kerry manager Peter Keane.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE FINAL WHISTLE had barely sounded on Saturday evening and conversations began over the future of Kerry boss Peter Keane. 

The three-time All-Ireland winning minor manager failed to deliver the Sam Maguire during his three years in charge of the senior team.

It’s still unclear if Keane will seek an extension and he understandably brushed off the question in the wake of Tyrone’s extra-time victory in Croke Park. 

“At the moment, it’s fairly bleak down here in Kerry,” said Marc Ó Sé on the latest episode of The42 GAA Weekly.

“There was a famine from 1986 to 1997. 11 years with no All-Ireland. It looks as though we’re closing in on that again, unfortunately. We demand success in Kerry and anything short of winning an All-Ireland is considered a poor year.

“The problem for Peter Keane in this situation is it’s been three years where Kerry have come up short. That simply is not considered good enough in our county. In fairness to him he has delivered three All-Ireland minor titles it has to be said and a lot of those lads have made the step up, but unfortunately Kerry have come up short yet again (at senior level).”

Recalling how his uncle Páidí’s tenure came to an end after going three years without an All-Ireland title, Ó Sé said:  ”We got a hammering from Meath in 2001, Armagh beat us in 2002, an All-Ireland I feel we probably left behind. And in 2003 (we lost) that famous game against Tyrone.

“So that was three years and unfortunately my uncle Páidí he walked the walk after it and he was given the road. He had won two All-Irelands prior to that in ’97 and 2000.” 

However, the lack of an obvious successor complicates the matter further. Should Kerry go back to Eamonn Fitzmaurice or Jack O’Connor?

Could an ex-player such as Declan O’Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy, Paul Galvin, Marc or Tomás Ó Sé be brought on board in a coaching capacity, or even take on the job themselves?

The younger Ó Sé is believes the position should be re-advertised, with Keane invited to re-apply should he wish to remain in charge.  

“Do I think Peter Keane should step down? I certainly think the job should be re-advertised and let Peter put his name in again if he wants. But let’s see who else is interested in the job or who could be approached.

“If there is an alternative then it should certainly be entertained. But I would re-advertise the job. I’m not closing the door on Peter Keane because there’s no-one putting their hands up. Declan (O’Sullivan) has only stepped into the U20 role and I think he needs time at that.”

A similar scenario took place in Donegal in recent days. 

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Declan Bonner was recently informed he must reapply for the job after completing an initial four-year term. The Donegal county board opened up the position for applicants, but no club nominated a candidate by the deadline on Sunday evening.

Last night, Bonner was granted a further two seasons in charge.  

“There’s nobody there putting their hands up for the job. I’m not closing the door on Peter Keane at all, I think he should still have his name in there but re-advertise the job and see is there an alternative. I wouldn’t be closing the door on him but in saying that, let’s see what else is there. 

“You have to see what alternative team is there. I don’t just mean manager, I mean a management team. You’ve got your coach on the field, that is huge. You need to put a team in place first of all.

“You can’t just say, ‘I’ll be the manager and I’ll get a team together in the next few weeks.’ A team has to be put in place. Let’s see what the alternative is.”

To listen to the full episode, go to members.the42.ie.

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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