Tuesday 17 October 2017

Pete McGrath: I turned down chance to manage Dubs

Fermanagh Manager Peter McGrath during the Fermanagh Open Media event earlier this week (Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE)
Fermanagh Manager Peter McGrath during the Fermanagh Open Media event earlier this week (Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE)

Colm Keys and Orla Bannon

All-Ireland winning manager Pete McGrath has revealed he turned down an approach to manage the Dublin footballers after he left Down.

McGrath, who takes charge of Fermanagh in Sunday's Ulster SFC first-round tie against Antrim, claims he was contacted by Dublin after Tommy Lyons' departure, and before Pillar Caffrey's appointment late in '04.

Dublin have never had an 'outside' senior football manager, though Kerry legend Mick O'Dwyer was heavily linked with the job after the departure of Mayo-born Lyons in 2004.

Now McGrath claims he was also sounded out at that time by Dublin county board chief executive John Costello while he was managing Ireland's International Rules squad.

"After my first year of International Rules management (in 2004), there was a tentative approach made by John Costello from Dublin," McGrath revealed.

"That's when I was still teaching, and the prospect of driving up and down to Dublin. . .

"I would say it was a tentative approach but I said 'no'."

Meanwhile, Tipperary football manager Peter Creedon has set a target of reaching an All-Ireland quarter-final this year.

Tipp reached the fourth-round qualifiers last year, beating Longford and Laois on the way before losing to Galway.

Now Creedon has set the bar a little bit higher for a team populated by so many All-Ireland U-21 finalists.

"If we can keep all our top players fit and get a bit of momentum, I think an All-Ireland quarter-final is achievable for us," he said.

"But there are a lot of good teams out there and there is a top four or five that are that bit ahead of everyone else."

Ahead of Sunday's clash with Waterford in Thurles, Creedon has backed Colin O'Riordan's recent assertion that an All-Ireland football title for the county is within range over the next six seasons.

Irish Independent

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