Offaly football left in turmoil after all three candidates exit manager race
Three months after Offaly began the process of finding their next football manager, the committee charged with that task are left staring at a blank sheet of paper again with none of the original three candidates left standing.
Tom Coffey withdrew last week, and Jack Sheedy confirmed yesterday that the plans he had put to the appointments committee were not accepted. "I didn't withdraw. I was just told that the plans I had put forward weren't what they were looking for," said Sheedy, who is expected to remain on with Moorefield in 2012.
"I spoke with them over the weekend. I wasn't prepared to change anything. I felt I had put a strong package together but it wasn't acceptable. I really feel sorry for the players. They are the ones who will ultimately lose out. But it's been a very peculiar process."
Stephen Darby is also out of the running, but he insisted yesterday that he had not withdrawn.
"I was asked last Friday to go back in for a second talk with the committee and I declined. As far as I was concerned I conducted a comprehensive interview three weeks ago when I made all my plans known to them," said Darby.
"If they wanted to appoint me as manager I would meet them then. But I wasn't going back in when I had laid out all my plans already.
"What I can't understand is that Ollie Baker was appointed as Offaly hurling manager last week but he didn't have to have all his plans in place when he was ratified. Good luck to him but his back-room team wasn't all in place.
"I didn't make a decision to withdraw. It was made for me when I didn't go back in for another meeting."
Asked whether he would still accept an offer to manage Offaly, Darby said he would always be "honoured" to serve his county. "This is my second time to apply for this job. I applied for no other reason than to do my bit for Offaly."
The committee is due to meet again tonight after two meetings late last week. It is understood that they have two new names in mind.
Gerry Cooney, who sought the Meath job last year, and Peter Brady, who guided Edenderry to Offaly county success last week, have been mentioned as possible contenders. But the manner in which this process has dragged on for almost three months now may put potential candidates off.
Michael Ryan was last night confirmed as the new Waterford senior hurling manager. He was ratified for the next two years.
The Ballymacarbry man, who managed De La Salle to county and provincial honours in 2010, will have former Waterford hurler Nicky Cashin, former Kerry senior football trainer Pat Flanagan and former Laois selector Brother Philip Ryan in his back-room team.