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Kildare Lacked Leadership On Field Of Play.
Tyrone’s eight point win over Kildare was even more comfortable than the score line suggests. Composed and confident as Tyrone looked throughout the game it must have made disturbing viewing for the Kildare management team and the supporters who had made the long run north.
Manager Kieran Mc Geeney has always been known for his committed and competitive approach to the game. He was a real battler who refused to give up and as a player was renowned for his never say die attitude. He has taken those qualities from his playing days and applied them to the job of Kildare manager with a fair degree of success. The Lily Whites run to the All Ireland semi final last year and defeat by Down showed huge improvement in attitude, approach and application. Many observers spotted the extra physicality in their game and the power and aggression in how they played was clear for all to see.It was felt by quite a few that Kildare were on the verge of something big.
They came to Dungannon well placed in the league and in a strong position to be pushing for divisional honours and promotion. However what they produced was in stark contrast with what was expected from them as they played second fiddle to a hungrier, better organised and more talented Tyrone team. Kildare just did not seem up for the fight at all. They were ponderous and porous all over the field. Granted they used their physicality but far too often they were unnecessarily physical in all the wrong areas. They looked jaded and lacking in creativity and leaderless throughout the field.
This game will leave Mc Geeney wondering if there has been any progress at all with this group but more alarmingly he must be praying that talisman midfielder Dermot Early returns from injury fully recovered and ready to take up the mantle of on field leadership. If not then all the managerial talent in the world will make little difference to players lacking the necessary will and hunger to dig deepest when required.