GAELIC PLAYERS ASSOCIATION (GPA) chairman Seamus Hickey has hailed the appointment of Dermot Earley as the body’s new chief executive.

The former Kildare footballer will assume control from Dessie Farrell in February, and Hickey believes Earley’s leadership qualities will be a massive asset to the organisation in his new role.

“It’s a terrific result and he’s a guy that stood out,” Hickey said at the announcement in GPA headquarters yesterday.

“He has a habit of doing that. Even his time as president, his time as a player. He’s an exceptional leader, a leader of men in a load of different capacities.

“The dynamic for me was great sadness that that figurehead was moving on. But today is an opportunity in a real sense that we have a new chapter, building on something different and exciting and we have a great platform.”

Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

Sean Murphy, a member of the GPA National Executive Committee, added: “We believe we have got the guy to lead the GPA, ideally he is around for quite some time. We hope he is. It would be a success for us if he was the CEO for many years. He’s committed to the GPA, he’s not in this for the short term, he’s in this for the long term.”

Earley served as the GPA president since 2013 and was their representative on Central Council for the last three years. Hickey confirmed that Earley would no longer fill that role, because “that was a volunteer position, so a volunteer will take it.”

The GAA had no involvement in the hiring of Earley, although Hickey says they were kept “informed” throughout the process.

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