Saturday 25 February 2017

O'Brien set to stay at top of Royal family

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Meath football manager Eamonn O'Brien is expected to remain on for another year, despite Sunday's quarter-final loss to Kildare.

O'Brien guided Meath to a first Leinster title in nine years last month, albeit in controversial circumstances, and that represents progress.

He remained non-committal about his future when contacted yesterday, but all the indications are that he will stay on. "I haven't even thought about it yet," he admitted.

O'Brien, by his own choice, has operated on a year-by-year basis since taking on the job in 2008.

"That's the way I wanted it and if I am to continue, that's the way I would want it to be again."

O'Brien's selectors, Bob O'Malley, Donal Curtis and Sean Kelly, would all be expected to remain on with him, with a priority to shore up a defence that struggled at the business end of this year's championship.

Meanwhile, Mayo have begun the process of replacing their outgoing manager John O'Mahony by placing a deadline of August 20 for acceptance of applications.

After that, a committee will be set up to examine applications and explore if there are potential candidates from outside the county who may be interested.

O'Mahony stepped down after defeat to Longford in the first round of qualifiers and since then Mayo County Board has taken its time to reflect on the vacancy. There have been no shortage of calls for a review of football at all levels in the county.

The only public show of interest in the position came from Liam McHale early on, but the Clare manager Micheal McDermott seems certain McHale will again be with him as assistant next year.

The internal favourites remain Noel Connelly and Peter Ford, the former Sligo and Galway manager who worked with John Maughan as a selector in the 1990s. But it remains to be seen if Ford will allow his name to go forward.

Mayo County Board has stipulated that letters of interest must be prepared by potential candidates ahead of the deadline in just over two weeks time.

Irish Independent

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