O’Donnell’s exit shocks Rossies

Conor McKeon

FERGAL O'DONNELL'S shock decision to quit as Roscommon senior football manager has been met with disbelief within the county.

O'Donnell informed the county board he was standing down after a progressive three years at the helm in which the Rossies won a first Connacht title in nine years and qualified and played twice in championship at Croke Park.

“It's a big shock because he's done so much for the county from his involvement with the minors to the seniors,” admitted PRO Colm Beirne.

“We're all still in shock and over the next few days there will be a lot of talk about the great work he is doing.”

O'Donnell hinted at his own exit following the heavy All-Ireland defeat to Tyrone this year but had the almost unanimous backing from those within the county to continue his tenure.

Jimmy Gaquin, who took the county's U21s to last year's All-Ireland semi-final, has been mooted as a possible replacement .

THE draws for the 2012 hurling and football championships take place tonight at Croke Park and will be screened live on RTÉ 2 (8.0).

All-Ireland SFC champions, Dublin, will be seeded in the Leinster draw alongside the other provincial semi-finalists from 2011, Kildare, Wexford and Carlow while in hurling, Kilkenny are automatically through to a semi-final spot despite there being nine teams in the Leinster draw.

CENTRAL Council will convene next Tuesday in a bid to address the ongoing row over the restructuring of the Allianz NHL.