Former Kerry senior football manager Peter Keane has claimed that the players wanted him to stay on as manager in a statement that hits out at the county board.
Jack O’Connor will take over as Kerry’s manager next year for the third time in his career, after the county board decided against re-appointing Keane after three years in charge.
Kerry won two Allianz League Division 1 titles under Keane, as well as two Munster Football Championships, but failed to end the county’s All-Ireland drought.
‘The players very much wanted us to continue with our project.’
Keane has released a statement independent of Kerry GAA, hitting out at the county board for going against the players’ “strong preference” for him to stay in his role.
“Unfortunately, losing the semi-final by one point in extra time to the eventual All-Ireland winners, led to a decision to end the work we had started and the momentum we had built,” Keane said in his statement.
“I know the players very much wanted us to continue with our project. They were the reason I wanted to stay. We were a united Kerry team with a great sense of purpose and ambition.
“All the players communicated to the County Board sub-committee their strong preference for the present management to be retained. It’s most disappointing that their wishes do not appear to have been considered in the decision-making process.”
Statement from Peter Keane pic.twitter.com/8THmjeaScC
— Damian Lawlor (@LawlorDamian) October 1, 2021
Peter Keane thanks the Kerry players, fans and backroom staff.
Keane thanked everyone that he had worked closely with during his time with Kerry in the latter half of his statement, while acknowledging that unusual circumstances had resulted in a difficult couple of years.
“The players are a credit to their families, partners, clubs, and communities. I wish them every success in the future as they start out again.
“It has been a very tough time for everyone over the last while. During my term, we had two very unusual GAA seasons. It was fantastic to start seeing fans back at games again. I will now re-join the Kerry supporters in the stands and the terraces, and I want to thank all the wonderful Kerry supporters who have given us such fantastic backing over the years.
“I would also like to pay tribute to all those who have been involved in the backroom teams at minor and senior level over the past six years – especially James Foley, Maurice Fitzgerald, and Tommy Griffin. There are too many others to mention but they all know how much I appreciated their input and friendship.