Saturday 17 November 2018

Cassidy lifts the lid on averting mass revolt

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Donegal All Star Kevin Cassidy has outlined how he successfully quelled a potential players revolt in 2010, the year before Jim McGuinness took charge.

Cassidy, who was captain that year, revealed the detail in a book called 'This Is Our Year', which traces the lives of players from all nine Ulster counties over the course of the 2011 season.

Painting the background to his decision to retire after the 2010 season, a decision he subsequently reversed after a two-hour conversation with McGuinness, Cassidy said players had lost respect for the previous management team headed by former All-Ireland medal winner John Joe Doherty.

The extract from the book has drawn a firm response from one of Doherty's selectors, Tony Boyle, who has contested Cassidy's opinions of their set-up.

Cassidy suggests in the book, which was written by Declan Bogue and will be launched in Tyrone tonight by former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns, that he saw little point in any uprising as their season ran out of steam.

"A lot of players had lost respect for John Joe by that stage. Not as a person, just their belief in his team. As captain, I was trying to hold things together. A lot of my friends on the panel were saying to me, 'f*** this'.

"My argument would have been, 'Look, we've put in so much effort, there's no point throwing the dummy out of the pram now. Let's play it out and see how it goes'."

Cassidy was critical of the planning ahead of the heavy 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Cork.

"We knew Cork's signals. They would point to the wing and then bang it down the middle where Pearse O'Neill was. We tried to discuss this in training but they weren't for talking. O'Neill was monstrous and myself and Brendan Boyle started midfield that day like two wee kids."

Irish Independent

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