In his first interview since being named as the new Kildare manager designate, Cian O’Neill told local radio station KFM that while it was difficult to leave a great set up in Kerry, it was “not often you get the opportunity and the offer to come back and work with your own county” and it being a manager role was another factor.
O’Neill said he hopes to “bring along a lot of quality people to make Kildare a force in football again”.
The Moorefield man also emphasised that he planned to “change the culture in Kildare football” and to “create a high performance environment with a culture of wanting to win with Kildare”
He was complimentary of the level of players available to him and the great work done at under-age level in recent years and feels that by integrating those players with some “great players already there” he can do something special with Kildare football.
O’Neill will continue to coach in his new role but expects all of his management team to coach the players. He confirmed however that he had not yet selected his backroom team as he was still part of the Kerry management until this morning. It is unclear therefore whether Brian Murphy, as had been reported, will be part of the set-up.
He is not averse to bringing in people from outside the county to join his team if they are the best people available and want to work with Kildare. However his preference appears to be for people who have an acute, strong awareness of the local club scene, hinting at a strong Kildare presence in the management team, particularly given his own job and location (in Cork).
Regarding resources available he said it was “fair to say that in the successful counties you can do a lot more” but he was happy to work within the constraints of the budget.
O’Neill confirmed a three year term had been agreed and that in year one it was about laying down the foundations.
On the county semi-final which he attended between Sarsfields and Celbridge today he congratulated Moorefield’s local rivals and felt they were a stronger unit (than Celbridge) and were definitely on the rise.
KFM’s interview is available at the following link: