BRIAN Lacey will be the second ’98 veteran to line out as part of the Kildare minor football management team next year.
Lacey, who won a Leinster championship as well as an all-star 14 years ago, links up with former teammate Bryan Murphy, who returns as county boss for a fifth season.
The Round Towers clubman was a selector with the Limerick seniors last year but having set up his own financial services company – Pension Structures, just over 18 months ago – he was keen to find something closer to home.
“It suits me well in terms of work because Hawkfield is only over the road. It means less travel for me from a business point of view and it keeps me involved at inter-county level too,” he said.
News of his departure from Limerick came just a week after Niall Carew’s resignation from Kildare, with Lacey’s name linked with the vacant Lilies’ post.
“There was nothing in that story,” says Lacey. “One of the national papers rang me and asked would I be getting involved and I said I wasn’t and they made a story then when there wasn’t one. It is an aspiration of mine though. I would like to get involved with Kildare or my own home county Tipperary at some stage in the future.”
It was a chance meeting with manager Bryan Murphy at the recent minor county final replay that led to the invitation to get involved with the team.
“I met Bryan at the final replay and that’s where the idea emanated from. I met him on the terraces in the rain behind the goal in St Conleth’s Park, there was only about three us on the terraces there. I had been talking to Bryan over the last few years so I had been aware of what he had been at,” he said.
Lacey’s main remit will be football coaching.
“I’ll be involved in the selecting as well. Obviously Bryan and the other lads will know more about the players than I will initially and they’ll know who to pick for the panel because they have been working with the guys for the last couple of years. I’ll be working more on the skills, the technical side of things and the systems as well. I’ll mainly be doing the football training but some of the physical fitness side of it as well,” he said.
Lacey has worked before with younger players at club level with Towers and also during his spell in charge of Nurney. He also did some underage coaching with Limerick too.
“I enjoy working with the younger guys because there is probably more to teach them than the older lads,” he said.
The two former Kildare stars will be meeting this week to formulate a plan to break Dublin’s dominance, which has grown over the last couple of years.
“The set-up of the minors would be different to me in terms of structure because you have schools and the Leaving Cert and things like that,” he said. “Bryan has done very well. Dublin won the All-Ireland this year and only that Tipperary caught them in the final last year that would have been two All-Irelands in a row, they are a strong team.”