Kieran Donaghy loves working with “very direct” Kieran McGeeney

Kieran Donaghy is working with Kieran McGeeney’s Armagh side.

Former Kerry star Kieran Donaghy joined Armagh as a coach ahead of the 2021 season. Kieran McGeeney’s side have played well in their three group games to date and Donaghy seems to be helping their attacking play.

The Austin Stacks footballer paid tribute to Armagh manager McGeeney and stated how he has helped him in his new position.

Kieran Donaghy and McGeeney played together for Ireland in International Rules Series.

“He’s very direct. He’s very thoughtful about what he does. The prep that goes in away from the group is at a very high level, I would say,” Donaghy said.

“He’s challenging Ciaran McKeever, Denis Hollywood and I as a backroom team. He’s challenging Ciaran McKinney as a goalkeeping coach. He’s been very open to our ideas and stuff that we’re looking at.

“I ask him for feedback all the time and he’s very honest and that’s what I want as a guy who’s trying to learn from him and learn the ropes of what a coach and selector can bring to a group. So, yeah, he’s been brilliant to deal with.”

Johnny Doyle was full of praise for McGeeney.

Donaghy recalled a conversation he had with former Kildare star Johnny Doyle before joining Armagh. McGeeney had managed Kildare and Doyle spoke very highly of his former boss.

“I talked to Johnny Doyle in Kildare before I took the job because I knew Kieran from playing with him and I knew the backroom team,” he said.

“Johnny told me how highly they spoke of and thought of him in Kildare in the six years he was there. How upset they were when he was leaving kind of proves what he is to the group.

“This is his sixth year here now in Armagh so I think if a manager has that type of longevity then his players know that he’ll do anything for them. He’s been really, really good to work with so far.”

Kieran Donaghy feels assists are as good as scores.

Donaghy feels that making the right decisions in attack is crucial for any side to do well and he is trying to help the Armagh forwards make the right decision when in possession.

“I think for any team to be successful, decision-making when it comes to shot selection is important. I would have been like that coming from a basketball perspective as a player, when I came into the Kerry dressing room I would have never cared about scoring,” he said.

“I would have seen an assist as good as a score whereas I think at that time in 2004, 2005 when I was coming into the Kerry squad, assists weren’t really a big deal. So trying to make an assist a big deal during my Kerry time was something I’d have done naturally.”

Donaghy won four All-Ireland titles with Kerry before retiring at the end of the 2018 season.

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