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McGeeney ready to learn fate at Kildare

By John Campbell

Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney is expected to learn tonight if he will get the get green light to continue in charge for another year.

And while club delegates assemble for what is viewed as one of the most important board meetings for many years, the outcome of the proceedings will be awaited with interest far beyond the confines of the county.

Should McGeeney's reign be terminated then he will become the target for several teams with ambitions of attaining provincial and indeed All-Ireland success.

McGeeney, who captained Armagh to their only All-Ireland title to date in 2002, has been at the helm of operations in Kildare for six years but in that period just one Leinster title has come the way of the Lily Whites.

Despite having figured regularly in the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland championship, Kildare have never quite managed to make it through to the decider.

In a county boasting considerable resources in both in terms of finance and active support at grassroots level, a measure of frustration has set in and this is evidenced by the fact that no fewer than at least 18 clubs are expected to vote for a change of management at tonight's meeting.

While McGeeney is understood to have the backing of the majority of the county board's management committee, he may not garner enough support from frustrated club delegates to secure another term.

Many of Kildare's more experienced players including captain Eamonn Callaghan, evergreen forward Johnny Doyle and experienced half-back Emmett Bolton are giving their backing to McGeeney, former goalkeeper Christy Byrne has called for Glenn Ryan – who recently stood down as Longford manager – to be given the job.

Kerry great Darragh O Se and St. Brigid's All-Ireland club winning manager Kevin McStay have been mentioned as possible replacements for McGeeeney if he fails to get another term.

The Armagh legend, though, is keeping his counsel as he awaits the outcome of a meeting that could entail a raw exposure of a championship season in which Kildare once again flattered to deceive.

They exited the All-Ireland qualifiers at the hands of Tyrone after having staged a dramatic second-half recovery that appeared at one point to have taken them to victory only for Tyrone's experience to prevail.

While there has been no marked outright criticism of McGeeney, there is nonetheless an underlying current of opinion that would favour a change at the top.

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