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O'Rourke leads race for Monaghan job

Former Armagh footballer Aidan O'Rourke has emerged as a front-runner for the vacant Monaghan management job.

O'Rourke has spent the last year as assistant in Down to James McCartan, having previously worked with Kieran McGeeney in a similar capacity in Kildare in 2010 and 2011.

But O'Rourke is understood to be a leading candidate in his own right in Monaghan as a four-man committee seeks a replacement for Eamonn McEneaney, who stepped down after a second round qualifier defeat to Laois.

The former Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney is understood to be stepping away from inter-county management and is not believed to be interested in returning to his old position.

O'Rourke had initially been linked with a potential management team involving former player Bernie Murray, who was once involved with McEnaney as a selector.

Meath have begun sifting through the nominations for their vacant managerial position and an executive meeting last night was due to establish an appointments committee to conduct interviews.

Among the names nominated are understood to be former manager Eamonn O'Brien, Graham Geraghty, John Evans, Paddy Carr, Sean Kelly, Liam Harnan, Colm O'Rourke and Andy McEntee. However, some of those nominated are unlikely to allow their names go forward, though Kelly and O'Rourke both left the door open last week.

Geraghty has publicly declared his interest and is thought to have John Evans in his proposed back-room team, along with Tom Keague, a selector under McEnaney, and former player Jody Devine.

The former All-Ireland winning club manager with Kilmacud Crokes, Paddy Carr, could be interested once more after being overlooked in preference to Colm Coyle six years ago.

McEntee, the current minor manager, could be another potential candidate, but is unlikely to declare a hand until after the All-Ireland final with Dublin is out of the way.

Meath don't expect to fill the vacancy until early October at the earliest.

In Louth, Colin Kelly is still the favourite to replace Peter Fitzpatrick, despite suggestions from the county board that they would be prepared to look outside for a suitable candidate.

Irish Independent