Michael Duignan: ‘I think Tomás Ó Sé will be in the running and I think he will be interested’
Tomás Ó Sé could be the next Offaly senior football team manager – and sooner than expected – going by what Offaly GAA chairman Michael Duignan had to say this week.
Duignan told the BBC’s The GAA Social podcast that he has discussed the senior football manager position with Ó Sé, even though John Maughan remains in the role. Offaly went out of the Tailteann Cup after a semi-final loss to Westmeath the weekend before, and Maughan, who has been Offaly manager for four seasons, was non-committal about his future after that game.
Duignan was adamant that Maughan is still the Offaly manager but he was also happy to link Ó Sé to the job if it should become available. And the chairman gave a clear indication that the multiple All-Ireland winner with Kerry would be interested if the job does become available.
The An Ghaeltacht man, who lives and works in Cork, was part of Maughan’s management team this year, and by all accounts was hugely popular with the players, which Duignan alluded to in his interview.
“We’ll see what John wants to do first. Obviously Tomás would be a contender. There’s a process actually. There’s a bye-law, we have to take nominations from the clubs. We’ve to go through the process. I couldn’t sit here and say Tomás Ó Sé will be the next Offaly manager. I’d like him to be involved.
“[The Offaly players] couldn’t speak highly enough of him. He’s one of the finest people you’ll meet in your life. He’s a great person, great personality, very straight which I love,” Duignan said, who confirmed that U-20 manager Declan Kelly has distanced himself for the position because of work commitments.
"I’ve actually spoken to Declan about the possibilities and Declan’s not in a position to put his name forward at the moment because of work commitments.
"I’ve spoken to Tomás as well about next year and the future. I think Tomás Ó Sé will be in the running and I think he will be interested,” the chairman added.
“I haven’t spoken to John Maughan about it yet. John is in place. I think he might have indicated to the players sort of after the match, the way he spoke, was he enjoyed his time and that.
“I went to Tomás’s house last year with John Maughan’s blessing. I met John in Sligo, he agreed to stay on for another year. I mentioned Tomás and John said, ‘If he’ll come, I’d love to have him.’
“Tomás was a bit taken aback because it was kind of out of the blue. He didn’t have a direct role. We had a couple of coaches already. He was keen to learn, keen to get involved, we’re keen to keep him involved.
“I don’t know. Look, John Maughan is the manager still. I’ll probably be talking to John… (over) the next couple of days to see where he is. Out of respect for John, I’d have huge respect for him, he’s a great guy, great character and great personality as well. He’s done four years. He has said to me over the last couple of years, the travelling, he has had a serious back operation, the travelling is killing him.”