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Peter Keane Claims Kerry Players Wanted Him To Stay In Charge For 2022

Peter Keane Claims Kerry Players Wanted Him To Stay In Charge For 2022

The news that Peter Keane would not be retained as Kerry manager for 2022 came as a surprise, with many expecting that he would be given one more opportunity to return the Sam Maguire to the county.

It is true that Kerry performed below expectations over the last two seasons, although their loss to Tyrone in this year's All-Ireland semi-final does not look like a bad defeat in hindsight. After all, the Ulster county were deserving champions this year.

Jack O'Connor will take the reins for next season, although Keane claims that the preference of the Kerry players was to see him remain in charge.

In a statement released this afternoon, Keane said he was grateful for the opportunity to manage his county, although he feels the County Board went against the wishes of the players in removing him from his post.

It has been a real honour for me to be have been involved with the Kerry county set-up over the last decade – from Development Squad level, to managing both the minor and senior football teams.

It was great to work with so many of our talented young footballers. To watch their progression - showing potential from young players in development squads was a privilege. To be able to guide them to make the step up to minor level and then onto senior level has been hugely rewarding.

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.

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.

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.

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The pressure will certainly be on Jack O'Connor to win an All-Ireland next year. If he fails to do so, many will be questioning the decision to move on from Peter Keane.

SEE ALSO: Ulster Chief Slams GAA's Proposed New Format Of Gaelic Football Championship

Gary Connaughton

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