Cian O’Neill has stepped down as manager of the Kildare senior footballers on Tuesday. O’Neill a former footballer with Moorefield clarified his position at a meeting of the Kildare County Board and told them he would not be continuing as Lilywhites boss for 2020.
O’Neill was a selector with Kerry in 2014, before he took up the mantle as Kildare boss in 2015. He took over from Jason Ryan and he showed massive signs of progression in his first few years bringing his side to successive promotions in the Allianz League. O’Neill has also coached the Mayo footballers as well as the Tipperary hurlers. His biggest moment as Kildare boss was no doubt in 2018 when he led the Lilywhites to win over Mayo in the qualifiers to get to the Super 8’s. However, 2019 turned out to be a different story for Kildare as they were beaten in Leinster by Dublin, they eventually exited the championship to Tyrone in Round 3 of the qualifiers.
A statement was released by the Kildare County Board on Tuesday which was obviously on behalf of O’Neill in which they said “Having recently informed the players, management, and backroom, I met with the County Board yesterday to inform them of my decision to step down from my role as Kildare Senior Football Team Manager. O’Neill said he was honoured to manage the side and work with some superb players. The Moorefield man continued As a proud Kildare man, it was an honour and privilege to have been given the opportunity to work with an exceptional group of players, each one of us doing our best to represent our clubs and county with distinction at all times. “Unfortunately, the successes of consecutive promotions from Division 3 to Division 1, a first Leinster Final in eight years and progression to the Super 8’s in 2018 was met with equal disappointment across these four years where frustratingly we didn’t always reach our potential as a group. “As a manager, this is my greatest regret and ultimately my responsibility, and this undoubtedly informed my decision to step away from this role. ” This will hopefully leave time and space for my successor and the chosen group of players to take the challenge to a new level under a new direction.”
O’Neill could well come to another counties rescue in 2020, with a couple of vacancies set to arise. Monaghan and Wexford are currently without managers whether he would consider either of these teams I’m not so sure. We wish Cian all the best in what he does next.