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Jack O’Connor steps down as Kildare Manager after only two seasons managing the Lilywhites.
The former Kerry manager, who last week flirted with the job he held from 2003-2006 in his first stint and then from 2008-2012. His reasoning for leaving the Leinster side was down to travel commitments, admitting that the job proved much too difficult to carry on.
O’Connor, who won three All-Ireland titles with Kerry signed a three-year contract with Kildare back in August 2019 and did state he would carry on full-time with the panel. However, he will now not fulfil the third campaign.
"We wish Jack all the best in his future endeavours. He will always be welcome back in Kildare"
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) September 6, 2021
“After two challenging but very enjoyable years I have decided to step away from managing the Kildare senior football team,” said O’Connor, who guided Kildare back to Division 1 this season with a promotion play-off win over Meath.
“This was a very difficult decision for me and one that I agonised over during the past few weeks. I have been made feel very welcome during my time in Kildare and I have worked with some great people up here. However, a round journey of over eight hours from St Finian’s Bay to Newbridge and back takes its toll and I felt this was unsustainable for the coming season.
“I’d like to thank the Kildare County Board for putting faith in me two years ago. As management, we have worked incredibly hard since then to improve the standards in Kildare.
A statement from Kildare GAA admitted that O’Connor and his management team were already planning the upcoming 2022 season, but due to the travel from Kerry to Kildare, his desire to return has diminished.
Kildare GAA Chairman, Mick Gorman recognised O’Connor as a great servant during his time in the Lilywhite dugout.
“We hold Jack in the highest esteem and the impact of his experience, influence and commitment as a manager will leave a lasting impression,” Gorman said.
“We wish Jack the very best of luck in his future endeavours. He will always be welcome here in Kildare.”
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