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Maurice Fitz in race to become new Kerry senior boss and Buckley could work with him as coach

The Kerry legend could be the next man in charge.

TWO-TIME ALL-Ireland medal winner Maurice Fitzgerald appears to the preferred choice to succeed Eamonn Fitzmaurice as the manager of the Kerry senior football team, with former Mayo team coach and selector Donie Buckley lined up to be part of the new management team.

Maurice Fitzgerald Kerry football great Maurice Fitzgerald. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

With less than a fortnight to go to the 8 October to have a management ticket to go before club delegates for ratification, it’s believed the job is Fitzgerald’s to refuse, and that the St Mary’s club man is seriously considering making the step up from selector to manager.

It’s believed that the four-man selection committee, headed up by county board chairman Tim Murphy and secretary Peter Twiss, met earlier this week to advance the process, and the only barrier to Fitzgerald taking the job is his recent appointment as principal of Coláiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and the extra workload that will go with that new job.

Maurice Fitzgerald and Tim Murphy Kerry's selector Maurice Fitzgerald and chairman Tim Murphy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It’s understood that the selection committee are keen to have Buckley on board in a coaching/selector role, and that Fitzgerald will happily work with the Castleisland native as part of a management team.

Barry Solan and Donie Buckley Donie Buckley (centre) is a former coach of the Mayo footballers. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It’s also speculated that Fitzgerald’s former Kerry team mate Stephen Stack, who managed Austin Stacks to the Munster Club title in 2014, is being lined up to come on board as well, although it’s not clear if direct contact has been made with the Listowel native, who, it’s understood, is willing to get involved with the Kerry team.

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Fitzgerald was a selector for the last two years under Fitzmaurice and it seems there is a desire on the part of the selection committee to maintain a link between the previous management team and the new one.

Should Fitzgerald take the managerial reins it’s possible he would add another name to the management team, with names such as Diarmuid Murphy, Seamus Moynihan, Declan O’Sullivan, Tommy Griffin and Johnny Crowley mentioned.

Three-time All-Ireland winning minor team manager Peter Keane has been interviewed about the position, as has Jack O’Connor, and both men are still under consideration for the position.

O’Connor previously managed the Kerry seniors for two separate terms, winning three All-Ireland titles in his time in charge.

Peter Keane celebrates at the final whistle Peter Keane celebrates Kerry's All-Ireland minor final victory in 2018. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Jack O'Connor celebrates at the final whistle Jack O'Connor savours Kerry's All-Ireland minor triumph in 2015. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

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Paul Brennan

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