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Kildare county football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kildare GAA crest.png
Irish:Cill Dara
Nickname(s):The Lilywhites
County board:Kildare GAA
Manager:Glenn Ryan
Home venue(s):St Conleth's Park, Newbridge
Recent competitive record
Current All-Ireland status:Leinster (SF) in 2020
Last championship title:1928
Current NFL Division:1 (1st in 2021 Div 2 South)
Last league title:None
First colours
Second colours

The Kildare county football team represents Kildare in men's Gaelic football and is governed by Kildare GAA, the county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The team competes in the three major annual inter-county competitions; the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, the Leinster Senior Football Championship and the National Football League.

Kildare's home ground is St Conleth's Park, Newbridge. The team's manager is Glenn Ryan.

The team last won the Leinster Senior Championship in 2000, the All-Ireland Senior Championship in 1928 and has never won the National League.

Colours and crest

The old Kildare GAA crest, showing oak trees, acorns and lily flower, was replaced by the current crest in 2005.
The old Kildare GAA crest, showing oak trees, acorns and lily flower, was replaced by the current crest in 2005.

The Kildare crest had a serpent on it until 1993, reflecting that of Kildare County Council, itself based on the crest for the town of Naas.[1] When Kildare County Council had the Heraldic Office of Ireland create a proper crest in 1991, and with Kildare fans regarding the serpent as a bad omen, the Kildare Supporters' Club requested a new one for their county teams; this featured acorns above a bunch of lilies (the county council one differed in that it had a Brigid's cross, a harp, a horse's head and acorns).[1] Kildare still lost in the first round of the Leinster Senior Football Championship (SFC) for three years afterwards, from 1994 until 1996.[1]

The 1993 crest is no longer in use.

Kit evolution

Kildare c. 2014?[clarification needed]
Kildare c. 2020[clarification needed]


Donegal defeated Kildare in the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in Jim McGuinness's first season in charge.
Donegal defeated Kildare in the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in Jim McGuinness's first season in charge.

Kildare first entered the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (SFC) in 1888, and lost to Dublin by a scoreline of 2–7 to 0–1.

Kildare made a major contribution towards the evolution of rules and tactics in Gaelic football. The county was the first to abandon the tradition of playing 21 people on each team, using 16 on each team for a period. Kildare players invented the hand pass: a polished team tactic since 1903;[citation needed] The toe-to-hand was pioneered by the Roseberry (now Newbridge Sarsfields) club. A team made up of players from the two strongest clubs in the county, Roseberry and Clane, played Kerry three times for the All-Ireland Championship of 1903; the matches drew the first mass interest in a field sport in the country, had an aggregate attendance of 50,000, and were regarded as the games which "made the GAA."

Kildare's four All-Ireland titles were won between 1905 and 1928: over Kerry in 1905, Galway in 1919, and Kerry again in the 1927 and 1928 finals. Kildare became the first team to win the Sam Maguire Cup in 1928. They haven't won it since.

Tactics such as the hand pass were perfected by those early Kildare teams, but they also developed what became traditional catch-and-kick football. Olympic high jumper Larry Stanley was regarded as one of the greatest fielders in the history of the game, and first winner of the all-time All Star award.

Despite winning a Leinster Senior Football Championship in 1956, reaching the National League final in 1958 and 1968, and winning the All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championship in 1965, Kildare footballers seemed to have difficulty maintaining their proud tradition. The county lost six Leinster finals in the twelve years between 1966 and 1978. Although the Raheens club won a Leinster Senior Club Football Championship title in 1983.

In 1991, former Kerry manager Mick O'Dwyer took charge of the county football team. Kildare lost two more Leinster finals to Dublin in 1992 and 1993, as well as the National League final of 1991. When Dublin came back for a draw in 1994 and won the replay, O'Dwyer was succeeded by Dermot Earley for two years. He returned in 1997, and guided the county to victory over Laois with 13 players and a dramatic, twice replayed series of matches with Meath (which they lost) that captured the imagination of the public and steeled the side for further honors.

In 1998, the Kildare team became the only team in 110 years of championship football to beat the previous three champions, Dublin, Meath and Kerry in turn only to lose to Galway in the All-Ireland final; despite leading by three points at half time. Another Leinster followed in 2000, but Galway defeated them in the semi-final. Leinster Final defeats followed in 2002 and 2003, against Dublin and a Laois side back-boned by their All-Ireland MFC winning sides of the late 1990s. In (2005), Kildare enjoyed mixed success and finished in the top six in the National Football League, but was knocked out of the championship by Sligo.[2]

In 2008 under the new management of Kieran McGeeney Kildare made a bit of unfortunate history by becoming the first team ever to lose a championship game to Wicklow in Croke Park, losing in the first round by 0–13 to 0–9. However Kildares season took a turn for the better after that by beating Cavan, Limerick and Fermanagh in the all- Ireland qualifiers to reach their first ever all-ireland quarter-final. To date in 2009, an improved Kildare side reached the Leinster Final only to suffer a defeat to Dublin. Kildare advanced to the All-Ireland quarter-final to play then All-Ireland champions Tyrone after beating Wicklow only to be knocked out by Tyrone. 2010 saw Kildare lose to Louth in the 2nd round. However Kildare had a great run through the qualifiers beating teams like Antrim, Leitrim, Derry and Monaghan to once again reach the All-Ireland Quarter-final to face Leinster champions Meath which they got a slow start but enjoyed the 2nd half as they ran out winning 2–17 to 1–12. to reach the All-Semi-final for the first time since 2000. On 29 August 2010 Kildare faced Down for the first time ever in the championship which turned out to be a very tense game but Down ran out winners 1–16 to 1–14 after a very frantic finish. 2011 saw Kildare advance to the Leinster semi-final after defeating Meath in the Leinster quarter-final only to be defeated by Dublin. Kildare had a good run in the qualifiers beating teams like Laois, Meath & Derry to advance to the All-Ireland quarter-final to face Ulster champions Donegal which turned to be a very poor performance but the 2nd half was a real contest from both sides with the sides finishing level to drag the game into extra-time only to be defeated by a single point by Donegal. Then in 2015 Cian O'Neill became manager after being with kerry gaa backroom . In 2017 kildare reached their first leinster final in 10 years . Only losing to dublin gaa by 9 points (Dublin 2-23 Kildare 1-17) . [3]


There is a Kildare Supporters' Club.[1]

Kildare had songs in the official Irish Top 40 ahead of the 1998 All-Ireland SFC final.[1] These were "C'mon you Lilywhites" by Sean Brennan and "Up the Lilywhites" by Brendan Cummins.[1]

Other snogs from then included "The Lilywhites Are On The March" by John Rafferty, "Cill Dara Abu" by Paul McCormack and "The Power and the Glory" by the Patrician Primary Pipe and Brass Band.[1]

Current squad

Team as per Kildare vs Dublin in the Leinster SFC Final, 1 August 2021

No. Player Position Club
1 Mark Donnellan Goalkeeper Maynooth
2 Mark Dempsey Right Corner Back Moorefield
3 Mick O'Grady Full Back Celbridge
4 Eoin Doyle Left Corner Back Naas
5 Ryan Houlihan Right Half Back Moorefield
6 David Hyland (c) Centre Back Athy
7 Kevin Flynn Left Half Back Celbridge
8 Luke Flynn Midfield Johnstownbridge
9 Aaron Masterson Midfield Moorefield
10 Alex Beirne Right Half Forward Naas
11 Fergal Conway Centre Forward Celbridge
12 Neil Flynn Left Half Forward Maynooth
13 Ben McCormack Right Corner Forward Sarsfields
14 Daniel Flynn Full Forward Johnstownbridge
15 Jimmy Hyland Left Corner Forward Ballyteague
No. Player Position Club
16 James Robinson Substitute Round Towers
17 Shea Ryan Substitute Sarsfields
18 Darragh Malone Substitute Allenwood
19 Brian McLoughlin Substitute Clane
20 Niall Kelly Substitute Athy
21 Shane O'Sullivan Substitute Clane
22 Darragh Kirwan Substitute Naas
23 Kevin Feely Substitute Athy
24 Con Kavanagh Substitute Sarsfields
25 Conor Hartley Substitute Sarsfields
26 Paddy Brophy Substitute Celbridge

Current management team

Appointed October 2021:[4]

Managerial history

  • 1905 Joe Rafferty
  • 1919 Joe McDonald (coach)
  • 1958 Mick O'Reilly (coach)
  • 1965 Jim Clarke
  • 1968 Mick O'Reilly (coach)
  • 1972 Frank Murphy (coach)
  • 1974 Pat Mangan
1975 Onwards [5]
Seasons Manager
1975 - 1981 Eamonn O'Donoghue
1982 - 1984 Bobby Burns
1985 Eamonn O'Donoghue
1986 - 1987(pt.) John Courtney
1987(pt.) - 1990 Pat Fitzgerald
1991 - 1994 Mick O'Dwyer
1995 - 1996 Dermot Earley Snr
1997 - 2002 Mick O'Dwyer
2003 - 2005 Padraig Nolan
2006 - 2007 John Crofton
2008 - 2013 Kieran McGeeney
2014 - 2015 Jason Ryan
2016 - 2019 Cian O'Neill
2020 - 2021 Jack O'Connor
2022 - Glenn Ryan

All Stars







  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Lily snake was banished". Irish Independent. 23 September 1998.
  2. ^ "Irish & International Sports News, Fixtures & Results | RTÉ". 14 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link). RTE. 30 July 2011.
  4. ^ Lawlor, Damian (October 2021). "Ryan set to be appointed as Kildare manager".
  5. ^ "Manager Records – Kildare GAA 365".
  6. ^ "As it happened: Tyrone v Kildare, National Football League Division Two Final".
  7. ^ "Jimmy Hyland haul sees Kildare reclaim customary position". Irish Examiner. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
This page was last edited on 14 October 2021, at 01:29
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