ALTHOUGH the smart money might well be on Peter Keane getting another three years in the job, Jack O’Connor has been installed as the bookies’ favourite to become the next Kerry senior football manager.
Speculation is mounting following a brief statement from the county board last night confirming that the selection process was underway and that a five-man team had been tasked with the responsibility of choosing the new boss.
The board stressed that it would be making no further comment.
County chairman Tim Murphy – whose five-year term will end in December – is understood to have already met with Keane to review the season just finished and he will be aware if the Killorglin businessman is interested in another stint in charge now that his three-year term in charge has expired.
One bookmaker is offering generous odds of 7/1 on Keane returning with O’Connor – who led Kerry to All-Ireland success in the past – quoted at 5/4.
Although it is understood he will not be in contention, former boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice is offered at 5/1, while Seamus Moynihan is at 6/1 and former Laois manager John Sugrue is available at 8/1.
Odds of 14/1 are being offered on veteran defensive coach Donie Buckley who has already worked with inter-county squads in Clare, Galway, Limerick, Mayo and Monaghan as well as two spells with Kerry, initially with Jack O’Connor and later with Peter Keane.
Maurice Fitzgerald, a selector with Keane, is available at odds of 20/1 to take over the top job with another former Laois manager, Mike Quirke, at 16/1 and former Roscommon boss John Evans at 20/1.
Joining Tim Murphy on the five-man committee to choose the new manager are vice chairman Eamon Whelan, secretary Peter Twiss, county games manager Donal Daly and Munster Council delegate and Spa clubman John O’Leary.