Tomás Ó Sé reveals lead contender to succeed Éamonn Fitzmaurice in Kerry
Five-time Kerry All-Ireland winner Tomás Ó Sé has said that former Kingdom forward Maurice Fitzgerald is apparently the lead contender to succeed Éamonn Fitzmaurice as manager of the Kerry senior football team.
Fitzmaurice stepped down as Kerry manager in August after six seasons with the intercounty side where he won one All-Ireland title and six Munster championships.
Peter Keane (Kerry minor manager) and Jack O'Connor (former Kerry manager) have also been linked with succeeding Fitzmaurice but Ó Sé claims that Fitzgerald and Keane are viewed as the lead candidates for the role.
"The rumours out there that it'll be either Peter Keane or Maurice Fitzgerald," Ó Sé told Game On on RTÉ 2fm.
"It was rumoured that Maurice Fitzgerald will be carrying Stephen Stack and Donie Buckley with him as a backroom team.
"It's a huge decision. It's a really important one to get right. You've a group of talented young players coming through. You have the likes of Kieran Donaghy and Donnchadh Walsh retiring.
"So that old team that I won All-Irelands with are nearly gone. Darran O'Sullivan is possibly one of the last survivors. The leaders that are there now are Paul Geaney, Paul Murphy and David Moran.
"Whoever comes in, no matter what backroom team he has, are going to be tough ask to gel everything.
"He's [Fitzgerald] a track record. He's coached St Mary's. He has an aura, he would be a good fit. But I also think they need to get the full team right. It's not just one man anymore. It's a full team, a backroom team and they need to get it right.
"He's a down to earth guy. He's very good company and very easy to take to. You think he's a quiet guy but he's full of roguery.
"Certainly he has the respect of everyone in Kerry. I do think he possesses the qualities of a man that can take over a team and gel them.
"But there's plenty of guys putting their hands up, Peter Keane, Pat O'Shea, Jack O'Connor. They won't certainly be going outside of Kerry. Anything can happen in Kerry. There's names being bandied around at the moment.
"I haven't heard anything concrete but Maurice is apparently the lead man at the moment."
Fitzmaurice said that his decision to resign during the summer stemmed from a desire to see the Kerry team experience a different voice in the dressing room and that by removing himself from the team it might lessen some of the negativity surrounding the squad.
“I just had a chat with the players and I told them it is time for me to move on. I was telling players, I have been in the job for six years,” Fitzmaurice told reporters following their quarter-final group stage exit.
“I’ve given it everything I have. I think there’s very good foundations there for the future. I think a change of voice and a change of direction will be good.
"I also think by taking me out of the equation, it can remove some of the over the top negativity that was coming at the team, which I feel was unfair.
“When you are preaching patience about a young group, we didn’t carry through that as a county at all this summer. I think, part of that, was down to the fact that I was there for so long and that, maybe, I was a lightning rod for that negativity and criticism, which, if you are 19 as David (Clifford) is or Sean (O’Shea) that is 20, the other lads Gavin White is 21, Jason Foley is 21, that is not a nice environment to try and develop yourself.”