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Published: 00:10 | 5/8/18

Fitzmaurice resigns, citing "over-the-top criticism"

Eamonn Fitzmaurice has resigned as Kerry manager following his side's All-Ireland exit, blaming "the over-the-top negativity" of some supporters.

The 2014 All-Ireland-winning manager announced his intention to step down following Kerry's exit at the Super 8 stage on Saturday, the first time the Kingdom have failed to reach the last four of the Senior Football Championship since 2010.

Kerry beat Kildare 3-25 to 1-16 at Fitzgerald Stadium in Group 1 on Saturday evening, but finished third behind Monaghan and Galway following the Farney's win over Kevin Walsh's side in Salthill.

"It is time for me to move on," Fitzmaurice said.

"I have been in the job for six years. I’ve given it everything I have. I think there are very good foundations there for the future.

"I think a change of voice and a change of direction will be good. I also think by taking me out of the equation, it can remove some of the over-the-top negativity that was coming at the team, which I feel was unfair."

Fitzmaurice, who replaced Jack O'Connor as Kerry boss in 2012, was particularly unhappy that some Kerry supporters did not give the young players in the panel time to prove their worth.

"When you are preaching patience about a young group, we didn’t carry that through as a county at all this summer," he continued.

"I think, part of that, was down to the fact that I was there for so long and that, maybe, I was a lightning rod for that negativity and criticism, which, if you are 19 as David [Clifford] is or Sean [O'Shea] that is 20, the other lads Gavin White is 21, Jason Foley is 21, that is not a nice environment to try and develop yourself.

"I'm hoping by someone new coming in, they’ll be given a bit of time and space, and I mean real time and real space and real patience to allow the [younger] lads make mistakes, allow bad performances to happen, without it being the end of the world, and appreciate how hard it is to develop a team."

The 41-year-old won the 2014 All-Ireland title and six Munster titles in his six years as Kerry boss, to add to the three Sam Maguires and six Munster titles he won as a player.

Image: Inpho/ James Crombie

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