Sport GAA

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Laois in the hunt for new football manager

Published 26/07/2016 | 02:30

Laois manager Mick Lillis has stepped down after only a year in charge. Picture Credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Laois manager Mick Lillis has stepped down after only a year in charge. Picture Credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Laois are searching for their sixth football manager in a decade after Mick Lillis' surprise decision to step down after just one year in charge.

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Lillis tendered his resignation just over a couple of weeks after their one-point defeat to Clare in a second round qualifier.

The former Portlaoise manager enjoyed championship wins over Wicklow in Leinster and then Armagh (twice) in the qualifiers after the original game had to be replayed because of the introduction of a seventh substitute by Laois.

Laois were relegated from Division 2 in April, after which they brought in former Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham as coach to assist Lillis.

Cunningham had an impact and the team put up a reasonable performance against Dublin in Nowlan Park, scoring two goals, but the indications were that he would not be involved in 2017.

The new manager will be the sixth since Mick O'Dwyer's departure in 2006, following Liam Kearns, Sean Dempsey, Justin McNulty, Tomás Ó Flatharta and Lillis.

A Laois statement thanked Lillis for his efforts and indicated that their executive would meet in the coming days to put in place a mechanism to find a successor.

Lillis is the third inter-county manager to resign this summer, following on from Meath's Mick O'Dowd and Leitrim's Shane Ward.

The deadline for nominations for the vacant Meath position is next Friday and a five-man committee has been convened to oversee the process in time for the August County Board meeting.

Former All-Ireland winning full-back Mick Lyons is one of the members of that committee.

Irish Independent

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