Cian O’Neill has stepped down as the manager of the Kildare footballers after a four-year stint with the county.
O’Neill took charge of the county in 2015 following the departure of Jason Ryan and brought the county from Division 3 to the top tier in the Allianz League in his first two seasons before dropping back down to Division 2 the following year.
In 2018, the Newbridge man steered the county to the Super 8s after a historic win over Mayo in St Conleth’s Park.
The county failed to reach that feat this year, falling to Tyrone in the final round of the qualifiers two weeks ago.
In a statement O’Neill said he regretted not being able to bring further success to the county.
Having recently informed the Players, Management and Backroom, I met with the Co. Board yesterday to inform them of my decision to step down from my role as Kildare Senior Football Team Manager.
“As a proud Kildare man, it was an honour and privilege to have been given the opportunity to work with an exceptional group of players, each one of us doing our best to represent our clubs and county with distinction at all times.
“Unfortunately, the successes of consecutive promotions from Division 3 to Division 1, a 1st Leinster Final in 8 years and progression to the Super 8’s in 2018 was met with equal disappointment across these 4 years where frustratingly we didn’t always reach our potential as a group.
“As Manager, this is my greatest regret and ultimately my responsibility, and this undoubtedly informed my decision to step away from this role. This will hopefully leave time and space for my successor and the chosen group of players to take the challenge to a new level under a new direction.
“To an incredible bunch of players … it was truly an honour to have worked with you all over the last 4 years. Your effort, diligence and commitment to be the best player you could be was what kept us all going in difficult times and laid the foundation for our relative successes in the good times.
“Your journey is only starting in many ways – every season takes on a life of its own – so I look forward to watching and supporting you all in the months and years ahead. There is so much uncertainty in sport and life, but one thing that I am certain of is that you are a credit to your club, your county and your families.”