GAA Football

Cian O'Neill steps down as Kildare boss after four years in charge

Cian O'Neill has expressed "regret" after stepping down as Kildare manager. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Diarmuid Pepper

CIAN O'Neill has stepped down as manager of Kildare.

O'Neill was appointed Kildare manager in 2015 and led his native county to back-to-back National League promotions.

However, last month Kildare's Championship campaign came to an end following defeat to Tyrone in a third round qualifier at Newbridge.

"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,” O'Neill said in a statement released on Thursday morning.

“Unfortunately, the successes of consecutive promotions from Division 3 to Division 1, a first Leinster Final in eight years and progression to the Super 8s in 2018 was met with equal disappointment across these four years where frustratingly we didn't always reach our potential as a group.”

"As 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."

Cian O'Neill becomes the fourth inter-county manager to resign this summer, with Paul McLoughlin (Wexford), Liam Kearns (Tipperary) and Malachy O'Rourke (Monaghan) having already departed.

Attention now turns to who will take over the Lilywhites, with former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness and ex-Tipp boss Liam Kearns being rumoured as possible replacements.

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