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Royal chiefs approval for O’Dowd

MICK O'DOWD has been selected by the Meath kingmakers as the preferred heir to the Royal throne and will be put before the next county board meeting.

A former player/manager with Skryne in 2004 in their county title win, O'Dowd has emerged as a relative unknown from a strong pack of contenders to seal the manager’s position, provided his tenure is acceptable to the majority of clubs delegates.

The current Meath board have, in the past, failed to secure the required number of votes from clubs, firstly when they recommended Eamon O'Brien's re-appointment in 2010 and again earlier this year when they tabled a motion for the removal of Seamus McEnaney.

In his favour, O'Dowd has put together a strong backroom team, including early frontrunner Seán Kelly, former Meath star Trevor Giles and Colm Brady, a former member of both O'Brien and Boylan's management setups, as trainer.

As recently as Monday of this week, fellow candidates Graham Geraghty and Paddy Carr remained confident that they had secured the backing of the executive while Colm O'Rourke's candidacy never made it past an initial interview.

FORMER Kildare defender Damien Hendy has replaced John Rafferty as a selector in Kieran McGeeney's management team after the Armagh man was formally ratified for a sixth term last night.

Hendy, who played under McGeeney before retiring in 2010, steps in alongside Niall Carew while a fourth member of the backroom team will be appointed within the next month.

CORK have decided to ask Conor Counihan to say on for another two years as their senior football boss.

At last night's county board meeting in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, chairman Bob Ryan insisted: “In view of great success Conor Counihan has brought to this county over the past number of years, winning an All-Ireland, three Munster titles and four NFLs , I feel this board, at the very least, should invite him to consider his position and let us know what he feels.”