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Croke Park in Dublin. Inset: Kildare GAA county flag. Photo by: Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland

Johnny Doyle absent from Kildare final win over Meath

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Croke Park in Dublin. Inset: Kildare GAA county flag. Photo by: Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland

Veteran attacker Johnny Doyle could yet return to the Kildare squad for the 2014 championship season despite sitting out the O’Byrne Cup final win over Meath on Sunday.

Doyle was nowhere to be seen as Kildare defeated their neighbors by 1-10 to 0-9 in the Newbridge decider.

The former Lilywhites captain was left out of the county squad for the upcoming National Football League by new boss Jason Ryan.

But Ryan insisted after the Meath game that the talented forward could yet return to the white jersey this summer after he takes a break from inter-county action.

Ryan joked, “I’d say he’s at home babysitting today. He just needs a little bit of time. I suppose he will make his own decision in time. Who am I to tell Johnny Doyle what to do or what not to do?

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the man is a legend in Kildare, he’s a legend in Gaelic football in Ireland. If he’s available to play, whenever he is, we’ll be delighted to see him. The door is open.”

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo are first up for Kildare in the new league campaign on Sunday, and Ryan knows his team need to improve on their O’Byrne Cup final performance against Meath.

Ryan added, “Our tackle count was up on last week, the amount of balls we turned over was up on last week, but unfortunately the amount of ball that we gave away was up as well, so it gives us something to work on.

“We’re delighted to continue winning, it’s a nice momentum for the players. We’ve a relatively new, inexperienced bunch of players so it’s a good habit to be in, to win games.

“Sunday was difficult. We had scoring opportunities but all we had to show was a goal. We gave away some sloppy ball by the Meath 45 meter line, which we were a bit disappointed with but the goal kind of gave us a little bit of breathing space.”

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