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Tally joins Kerry backroom team, O'Connor defends Kildare departure


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Recently-appointed Kerry manager Jack O'Connor has revealed that Paddy Tally has joined his backroom team. 

The former Down football manager had been a long-rumoured addition to O'Connor's coaching ticket.

Tally left the Down position in July following their Ulster championship exit at the hands of Donegal. His final year with the county had been a turbulent one, after he was punished for hosting a training session against COVID-19 protocols.

O'Connor was ratified for a third spell as Kingdom kingpin on Monday night, with Micheál Quirke and Diarmuid Murphy confirmed members of his backroom team.

His departure from Kildare had raised eyebrows, coming as it did after comments made to an Irish Examiner podcast.

While still in charge of the Lilywhites, O'Connor was asked about the Kerry job by host Paul Rouse, replying, "Of course, there is an allure there.

“Who doesn’t want to coach Man United? There is that allure because of the tradition."

O'Connor addressed the comments during his grand unveiling on Friday evening. He says the travel commitments involved in managing Kildare, coupled with the dissolving of his backroom team had informed his decision to leave - not the Kerry vacancy.

"This thing that I left Kildare because I was asked to manage Kerry or that it was a done deal is absolute and total nonsense," he told the Irish Examiner.

"And it was addressed well by the chairman of the county board at the meeting on Monday. I want to absolutely second that because that is the truth.”

It had been claimed that O'Connor was the preferred candidate of the Kerry management sub-committee, even before the process to appoint a manager had officially begun.

County chairman Tim Murphy insisted the process was "credible", and that rumours to the contrary came from individuals with an "axe to grind".

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