Thursday 23 November 2017

Andrews' seal of approval key for Hyland

Former Cavan manager Val Andrews. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Cavan manager Val Andrews. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

TERRY Hyland has insisted he would never have taken over as manager of the Cavan footballers if he did not have the blessing of his predecessor, Val Andrews.

Andrews left last month after a disappointing league campaign that left them just one place above relegation in Division 3 of the football league.

Within 48 hours of their final-round defeat to Antrim, the squad had gathered for a meeting at which they raised a number of issues, prompting Andrews departure two days later.

Hyland, who has managed the Cavan U-21 team to the last two Ulster titles, was working as a selector with Andrews at the time, having previously been joint manager with him on their 'second coming' in 2011.

Having Andrews' blessing, then, was critical to Hyland agreeing to take over the role for the next five championship campaigns.

"In fairness, Val gave me his blessing to go on and do it. He said: 'you've been involved in Cavan football a long time now and the opportunity is there for you and you should go for it.'

"You always do have ambitions but I had a project with the U-21s and that's where I was at that stage.

"I wasn't looking any further down the line. As I said to my wife, I didn't leave the house looking for the Cavan senior job but I've ended up with it and I don't regret it.

"From that points of view, it was probably always something I was going to do down the line anyway."

Cavan are rank outsiders for Sunday's opening Ulster Championship match at Kingspan Breffni Park -- a repeat of last year's quarter-final clash that Donegal won easily.

Hyland insists that he is taking a long-term view on Cavan football and has no regrets about the road they took prior to last year's championship, when they let go so many established players and ran with a new team against Donegal.

"It has to be a long-term project," he said. "We couldn't keep doing the same thing we've been doing in Cavan for the last 25 or 30 years. It wasn't working so why would we continue to do it?

"You had to look at something completely different. Who is to know if this is going to work or not?

"I'd think it's three to four years down the line when we'll reap the benefit. In everything in life you have to take a gamble."

Hyland admits that the underage success enjoyed over the last 12 months guarantees nothing in a county like Cavan and that the great challenge lies ahead in trying to translate that success on to the senior stage.

"Everything you do in life is a challenge. We went through the Celtic Tigers years and the whole challenge now is how do we reinvent ourselves as a nation?" he said.

"It's the same with everything. We don't want to make our underage success our 'Celtic Tigers years' -- we want to build on that."


Hyland said the five-year term he was given was as much security for the players as it was for him to avoid the constant change that the county had experienced at the helm in recent years.

"Sometimes it can be a case of a jail sentence where you might not get off for good behaviour," he said.

"There is an element of security and for the players as well, we've had probably too many changes in Cavan in the last 10 or 15 years and we probably think every time we change it's going to be different and it hasn't been different.

"So, from that point of view, it was a bit of security for everybody."

Hyland maintains he has an open mind about Seanie Johnston returning to play for Cavan -- provided he plays club football with Cavan Gaels first.

A decision on Johnston's transfer to St Kevin's in Kildare by the Central Competitions Control Committee is imminent and, if the player fails, he is expected to take his case to the Disputes Resolution Authority.

Irish Independent

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