Cooney named new Offaly boss
OFFALY finally appointed a new senior football manager -- Gerry Cooney -- last night after a stormy meeting of the County Board, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
It included a statement in person from Stephen Darby, one of three men originally interviewed for the job, and a heavy debate, including a proposal from a Tullamore delegate that Cooney not be appointed. But that was later withdrawn and the former county selector and Meath U-21 manager was unanimously given the job.
The three-month search for a replacement to succeed Tom Cribbin has been full of incident and last night's meeting continued that trend. Darby made a statement to clarify what his experience of the selection process had been and said he was disappointed at the way he had been treated.
He had reportedly refused to go back for a second interview and said he wished to end all the rumours and tell delegates exactly what had happened.
Darby, Tom Coffey and Jack Sheedy were interviewed initially but all three withdrew from the race, which was when Cooney was first linked with the job. Originally from Tullamore, he was part of the Meath team that won senior All-Irelands in 1987 and '88 and was an Offaly selector during Kevin Kilmurray's management when they reached the 2006 Leinster final.
Former Clare star Ollie Baker was ratified as Offaly's new senior hurling manager at the same meeting. The 37-year-old will have Mark Corrigan and Paudge Mulhare as his selectors. Baker replaces Joe Dooley, who stepped down after three years in charge.
Elsewhere, Donegal legend Brian McEniff is set to take on a more official role with Louth's footballers next season. McEniff served in an advisory capacity to them last summer, but Louth boss Peter Fitzpatrick has persuaded the man who led Donegal to an All-Ireland title in 1992 to come on board as a selector next season.
Ciaran Gourley is the latest member of Tyrone's treble All-Ireland team to call time on his inter-county career, following Brian McGuigan and Philip Jordan, who retired earlier this week.