Tuesday 24 January 2017

Outgoing U-21 boss Farrell slams Offaly board

Jackie Cahill

Published 16/11/2016 | 02:30

In his statement, Farrell says he next heard from the board on October 25, when Pádraig Boland (pictured) informed him that he would not be reappointed. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
In his statement, Farrell says he next heard from the board on October 25, when Pádraig Boland (pictured) informed him that he would not be reappointed. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Outgoing Offaly U-21 football team manager Padraig Farrell has launched a scathing attack on county board officials, accusing them of "unfair dismissal", a lack of accountability and acting in an "unethical" manner.

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Farrell was convinced that he would be reappointed for the 2017 season, having guided the Faithful County to a Hastings Cup win in his first year at the helm, but has been informed that his services are no longer required. The appointments process for the U-21 job has descended into chaos for a second successive year after Declan Kelly stepped down from the role last November.

Kelly resigned less than 24 hours after being ratified, as he hadn't agreed to take over in the first place. Farrell stepped into the position, felt that he had made good progress, but is aggrieved by the manner in which he feels he has been treated.

Farrell also believes that he has been made a scapegoat for strength and conditioning coach David Hare's departure, insisting that he had no knowledge of Hare's decision to leave.

In a lengthy statement, Farrell has moved to "clear up any misunderstandings that may have circulated from the county board."

He says that he has "no issues" with Hare and claims that he has been accused of "blocking other candidates for this job." He claimed: "I still do not know why I have been dismissed as manager."

Farrell is a former Offaly minor football boss who was appointed to the U-21 role last November. And he revealed: "I asked for a two-year deal with the county board and the response I got from Mr (Pádraig) Boland (county chairman) was: 'If anyone deserves two years P, it's you.'"

Offaly won the Hastings Cup for the first time in the county's history before losing to Kildare in the first round of the Leinster Championship.

Farrell, who guided Westmeath club Castledaly to their only county senior football title in 2008, felt it was "a successful year considering we only started training in December" and that silverware was delivered.

Farrell attended a number of club games over the summer with a view to putting a panel in place for next year but at a review meeting on September 16, "the main talking point was that I was not willing to work with Dave Hare, and the fact that I was held responsible for his departure from the U21 set-up."

In his statement, Farrell says he next heard from the board on October 25, when Boland informed him that he would not be reappointed.

"I asked Boland why, to which he could not provide me with a valid reason and to this day I have not been given an explanation," Farrell added.

Irish Independent

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