Thursday 22 February 2018

Sligo 'will not panic' as wait for new manager delays training return

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

SLIGO'S senior footballers will not return to collective training this weekend because they still don't have a manager.

They are one of nine county football teams free to resume full training tomorrow under the GAA's staggered return system, but, with no boss in place, will just continue with their gym programmes.

Despite the fact that more than four months have elapsed since Kevin Walsh stood down, officials "will not be panicked" into appointing his successor.

The intervention of Croke Park into Sligo's financial affairs this summer – the board is €1.5m in debt – is said to have contributed to the delay and Sligo chairman Cyril Feehily admitted that they have to take a different approach to managerial structures because "costs have to be trimmed."

The latest meeting of the sub-committee set up to replace Walsh took place last week. Sligo secretary Gerry O'Connor said: "The main thing is we will not panic. There is a committee in charge of finding the best man and we are confident they will do that in due course."

GMIT manager Michael Moyles has declared his interest in the job and the local nominations are believed to have included Anthony Brennan, Glenn Young and Denis Johnston.

Teams knocked out of the championship in June are allowed to return to collective training this weekend, followed two weeks later by those who exited in July.

Kilkenny's hurlers can return to training much earlier than usual (December 1), the same date as Tipperary, Waterford and Galway.

Kerry's September semi-final defeat to Dublin means their return will come a full three weeks after Tyrone, whose semi-final loss to Mayo was in late August.

Collective training

staggered roster

Nov 15 (teams knocked out in June) – New York, Carlow, Offaly, Antrim, Westmeath, Limerick, Tipperary, Wicklow, Sligo (football); Westmeath, London, Antrim, Carlow, Offaly (hurling).

Dec 1 (teams knocked out in July) – Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Waterford, Clare, Roscommon, Longford, Leitrim, Louth, Wexford, Kildare, Derry, London, Galway, Laois , Meath (football); Kilkenny, Tipperary, Galway, Waterford, Laois, Wexford (hurling)

Dec 8 (teams knocked out in August) – Monaghan, Cork, Cavan, Donegal, Tyrone (football); Dublin, Limerick (hurling).

Dec 29: Kerry, Mayo, Dublin footballers; Cork, Clare hurlers.

Irish Independent

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