Monday 27 January 2020

Bealin's future as Westmeath manager hangs in balance

Westmeath manager Paul Bealin has come under pressure after a disappointing season in which his side lost every competitive game they played. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Westmeath manager Paul Bealin has come under pressure after a disappointing season in which his side lost every competitive game they played. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Paul Bealin's future as Westmeath football manager will be decided at a county board meeting tonight with clubs understood to be split over whether or not he should continue.

The former Dublin footballer has spent just a year in charge but has come under pressure after a disappointing season in which they lost every competitive game they played.

In the wake of their defeat to Cavan in the first round qualifiers at the end of June members of the Westmeath squad are understood to have convened, with a majority expressing a mood for change. However Bealin retains support from some of the top officers in the county who accept the difficulty of the challenge they faced to even compete in Division 1.

They lost all three O'Byrne Cup games in January and their seven Division 1 league games, before crashing out of the Leinster championship against Louth in Mullingar and then Cavan in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Their performance against Cavan was an improvement on that and Bealin is keen to continue, having taken on the job for three years in the first place. A review after the first year was always scheduled. Ironically two of their better displays were against Dublin in the O'Byrne Cup when they lost, albeit to a shadow team, by 0-12 to 0-11, before going down in the league by 0-14 to 1-7.

He replaced Pat Flanagan who had spent three and a half years in charge after taking over from Brendan Hackett.

Hackett lasted just one league campaign before stepping down in 2010 prior to the championship when it became apparent that he no longer had the support of the players.

Since the Cavan game their longest-serving player Dessie Dolan has retired.

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