JOHNNY MAGEE is relishing the prospect of cutting his managerial teeth with Wicklow - but he must do so without the services of Leighton Glynn.
The veteran talisman, an All Star nominee in 2009 who has represented Ireland at International Rules, is focussing all his energies on hurling next season.
A Wicklow GAA statement cited the player's need to manage a recurring groin injury, and Magee accepted that "ideally" he would have him involved.
However, the former Dublin centre-back, 36, is enthused by his new challenge. He served as a selector this year under Harry Murphy and has now been offered the top job, subject to county board ratification, after Murphy called time on his three-year tenure.
"I'm very honoured," Magee told The Herald. "Harry last year asked me to come in as a coach and selector; I got to know the lads through the course of the year.
"There are some good footballers in Wicklow and I saw enough last year to tell me that they have a chance of getting out of Division Four. So, fingers crossed."
He must plan without Glynn, who has committed to Casey O'Brien's hurlers. Describing the player as one of the best footballers "not only in Wicklow but the country over the last ten years", Magee added: "He will be 33 next year.
"He had said he always wanted to give hurling a go before he finished up, so he owes nothing to Wicklow."
Kernan calls time
AARON KERNAN has retired from inter-county football - without the All-Ireland senior medal he had long craved.
"It is obviously a very difficult decision for me but I believe I've reached a stage where I need to focus energies on other aspects of my life," revealed the Armagh wing-back, who will continue playing with Crossmaglen.
"It was a great privilege for me to play for my county for ten years and I cherish every step of the journey that began for me following our All-Ireland U21 success back in 2004."