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Tony McEntee favourite for Down management position

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

Former Crossmaglen Rangers joint manager Tony McEntee is expected to sit down with Down county board officials this week. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Former Crossmaglen Rangers joint manager Tony McEntee is expected to sit down with Down county board officials this week. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Tony McEntee could move a step closer to becoming the next Down football manager with expectation in the county that he will sit down with county board officials and discuss the position in the coming days.

Down are seeking a replacement for James McCartan, who has stepped down after five years in charge, and 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winner McEntee now looks like the preferred option.

McEntee was Crossmaglen Rangers' joint manager, with Gareth O'Neill, when they won the 2011 and 2012 All-Ireland club titles.

McEntee is currently managing Dublin club St Brigid's.

Former Down full-back Conor Deegan and 2005 All-Ireland winning minor manager Mark Turley are also understood to be interested.

Down have rarely embraced 'outside' managers, though Jackie McManus, who was in charge for a spell in the 1980s, was originally from Antrim.

Meanwhile, former Armagh football and Irish rugby strength and conditioning coach Mike McGurn has called for long bans for members of GAA back-room teams who get involved in altercations with opposing players.

McGurn, who has worked with rugby union, rugby league and soccer teams, said the principle of a back-room team member not getting involved in any way with an opponent is "sacrosanct" in almost every other team sport.

"Because of the hormonal and adrenalin levels that they are at, somebody is going to get hurt. Their jobs are not to get involved in melees. The players will sort it out themselves anyway," he said.

"Nobody gets hurt because players are at the same level. When someone who is not at that level comes in and tries to act as peacemaker, they are going to get hurt.

"It looks messy and amateur. Some of the sideline antics are ridiculous.

"When Bernard Dunne was fighting you weren't going to jump in and take him on because he was in the zone. He'd flatten you. Gaelic footballers are the same.

"Luckily nothing too serious has happened but it is starting to happen more than it did."

Irish Independent

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