Monday, September 06, 2021

JACK O’Connor has stepped down as Kildare Senior Football Manager with immediate effect, Kildare GAA announced in a statement on Monday morning.

Former Kildare Manager, Jack O’Connor Photo: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

The Statement says, “Jack had previously indicated that the personal impact of the commute from South Kerry was taking its toll but that his desire was to continue in the role and to build on the progress achieved over the previous couple of years. To this end, he and his Management Team were at an advanced stage of planning for 2022 but he has now decided not to stay on for a third year.

Mick Gorman, Kildare GAA Chairman, has emphasised the importance of building on the achievement of gaining promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League for 2022 whilst recognising that we also reached this year’s Leinster Final, our first since 2017.”

Mick Gorman is quoted in the Statement, “We hold Jack in the highest esteem and the impact of his experience, influence and commitment as a manager will leave a lasting impression. We wish Jack the very best of luck in his future endeavours. He will always be welcome here in Kildare.”

In a separate statement also issued on Monday  morning Jack O’Connor said, “After two challenging but very enjoyable years I have decided to step away from managing the Kildare senior football team. 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 Finans Bay to Newbridge and back takes its toll and I felt this was unsustainable for the coming season.”
O’Connor’s statement goes on, “I’d like to thank the Kildare County Board for putting faith in me two years ago. As a
management we worked incredibly hard since then to improve the standards in Kildare. The first year was about overhauling the panel and introducing a lot of good young players and this year was about building on that and making tangible progress. Getting promoted to Division one was crucial for the future development of this team as was reaching a Leinster final and giving the young players a taste of the big day. I hope that the management can
build on this and make further strides in the years ahead.”

“A big thank you to my backroom team who worked very hard to ensure that the Kildare team was well prepared. Their selfless dedication was inspiring to see. Most importantly I’d like to thank the players for the respect they showed the management and for their total commitment to the Kildare jersey. These are a great group of young men, and the journey is only beginning for them. I look forward to following their progress in the years ahead.

The statement further adds, “Thanks also to those who sponsor Kildare teams thus ensuring that the players have the
best environment in which to prepare and perform. The new development in St Conleth’s Park and the new gym in Manguard Plus, Hawkfield will raise the standards even higher.
Finally, a big thank you to the Moorfield club for welcoming my two sons with open arms seven years ago. It was like a home from home for them and they enjoyed a very successful and memorable period there. They like me have returned home and that also was a factor in my decision.

Concluding his statement Jack O’Connor says, “Once again thanks to everyone who helped us on this journey over the past couple of years. It was both a privilege and a pleasure to be part of it . I look forward to following Kildare’s
fortunes over the next few years and I wish them the very best for the future.”

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