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Offaly hope Coffey can perk up the Faithful

TOM COFFEY has stepped in to the vacant Offaly football manager's job on an interim basis after ratification at a meeting of management committee yesterday in O'Connor Park.

TOM COFFEY has stepped in to the vacant Offaly football manager's job on an interim basis after ratification at a meeting of management committee yesterday in O'Connor Park.

The Rhode clubman - who guided their senior footballers to two Leinster club finals and served as manager and selector on a number of Offaly minor and U21 teams - filled a similar position back in 2009 after Richie Connor tendered his resignation prior to Tom Cribben's permanent appointment.

More recently though, Coffey was one of three candidates interviewed for the job last year after Cribben stepped down but withdrew from the race in annoyance over the length of time the county board were taking to make an appointment.

"This process is taking far too long," he said at the time. "The interviews took place two weeks ago and there is still no word, no decision. It's unprofessional and I have informed the chairman that I am withdrawing."

A week later, Stephen Darby and Jack Sheedy also pulled out, developments which eventually led to Gerry Cooney's appointment.

ROSCOMMON under-21 manager Nigel Dineen said his team had realised their own stated ambitions after qualifying for the All-Ireland U21 football final.

"At the start of the year, we made it our goal to get to an All-Ireland final," said Dineen after his side had finished strongly to beat Ulster champions Cavan by 2-7 to 2-2 in Pearse Park on Saturday.

"And to achieve that goal is very pleasing indeed. Our defence was magnificent all year and once again they came to the fore today."

A low-scoring match appeared destined for a tight finish after Kevin Tierney scored Cavan's second goal to leave just a point between the teams with a minute to go. But an opportunist goal from Colin Compton after a handling error from Cavan goalkeeper, Conor Gilsenan made sure of Roscommon's place in the final, their first since 1982.

DONEGAL captain Michael Murphy has been ruled out of the Ulster champion's provincial opener with Cavan on May 20. The Glenswilly man sustained a knee injury during Donegal's defeat to Dublin last month and though the knock did not require Murphy to go under the knife for the second time this year, he has not healed as quickly as management had hoped.


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