Sunday 23 October 2016

Kevin McStay delight as he lands joint-boss role with Roscommon

Published 29/09/2015 | 02:30

Kevin McStay is to swap his pundit’s role to take the reins at Roscommon
Kevin McStay is to swap his pundit’s role to take the reins at Roscommon

Kevin McStay's name will be put to the next Roscommon County Board meeting as joint senior manager with Fergie O'Donnell after meeting with the county's appointments committee last night.

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McStay will undertake a senior inter-county job for the first time after twice being turned down for the position in his native Mayo.

The 53-year-old has been the firm favourite since John Evans stepped down after three years in charge last month.

It is understood that the Roscommon board will confirm the nomination - they were the only candidates spoken to - later in the week.

McStay's union with O'Donnell will be a popular appointment. O'Donnell is Roscommon's most successful manager of modern times, having guided them to All-Ireland minor success in 2006 and a Connacht senior title in 2010.

They will be joined by Liam McHale in a coaching capacity while David Casey, who managed St Croan's to an All-Ireland intermediate club final defeat last February, and Stephen Bohan, who worked with O'Donnell previously when he was senior manager, will be involved as selectors.

McStay and McHale managed Roscommon club St Brigid's to an All-Ireland club title in 2013.

It is expected that McStay will end his media interests as one of the anchor Sunday Game analysts and a columnist with the Evening Herald.

McStay pitched for the Mayo job last year but that went to the joint management team of Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly instead. There were suggestions that McStay was overlooked because of player indifference to the involvement of McHale as coach.

The pair come into the job at a good time for Roscommon football, though survival in a cut-throat Division 1 will be a real challenge.

Speaking to today's Herald McStay, who retired from the Armed Forces last week, said the time was right for him to make himself available to Roscommon.

"I'm 53, I have the energy for it, the enthusiasm for it. I'm not going to have that forever. I saw this as probably the best time to go into county management," he said.

"I'm a very proud Mayo man and I had two goes at managing my native county, it just didn't happen.

"So this gives me a chance to test myself at inter-county management, and I obviously was never going to get it with Mayo.

"I've lived most of my adult life in Roscommon, my three girls are Roscommon girls and they support Roscommon. Why should it be anywhere else?"


McHale's departure from Cavan will leave Terry Hyland without another member of his backroom team - the Mayo man was forwards' coach in 2015.

Meanwhile Peter Keane has been ratified as the new Kerry minor football manager in succession to Jack O'Connor, who has moved up to take charge of the U-21s.

Keane managed his native St Mary's to an All-Ireland junior club title in 2011 and was a minor selector with Mickey Ned O'Sullivan in 2012 and '13.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice was ratified for another year as senior manager but there was no confirmation that he would have the same back-room team with him.

It is expected that former Limerick star Ciaran Carey will be announced as Kerry hurling manager next week.

In Derry new manager Damien Barton has questioned the "lazy" attitude of the players in 2015. At his first press briefing Barton said they had a "perception that they had overworked the year before and had peaked too early. I just cannot understand that.

"They changed last year at the behest of the players, and stuttered. I think the players have to accept a lot of responsibility for that."

Elsewhere, Mick Lillis of Portlaoise was last night confirmed as the new Laois football manager replacing Tomas O Flatharta.

Irish Independent

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