Tuesday 25 September 2018

Brian Gavin says Stephen Wallace's position as Offaly manager is 'untenable' after Wicklow defeat

13 May 2018; Suspended Offaly manager Stephen Wallace at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Preliminary Round match between Offaly and Wicklow at O'Moore Park in Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
13 May 2018; Suspended Offaly manager Stephen Wallace at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Preliminary Round match between Offaly and Wicklow at O'Moore Park in Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Brian Gavin said that there is serious unrest in the Offaly camp following their loss to Wicklow in the first round of the Leinster SFC.

Offaly were defeated on a scoreline of 1-20 to 1-15 after extra time in O’Moore Park. Speaking on Midlands 103 Radio, the former inter-county referee, who hails from the Faithful county, described the defeat as one of the 'darkest days' in the county's history.

Gavin claims that frustrations have been building between players and management, and that Offaly players are no longer happy playing under Stephen Wallace’s guidance.

"There's a lot of unrest in the Offaly camp at the moment, like Johnny Maloney as we know earlier in the year opted out after a disagreement with management," Gavin said.

"We can’t afford to lose players like him. Young James Lawlor was only told 40 minutes before the game that he wasn't starting."

"Nigel Dunne has been our top scorer in the National Football League," Gavin continued.

"He was starting to get into the game yesterday, after 25 minutes was taken off. He looked distraught."

“We went in at halftime after an Anton Sullivan goal luckily enough to put us three up but I think the mood in the dressing room at half-time... there was a lot of arguing there was a lot of shouting, a lot of fighting."

Gavin said it is time to get rid of Wallace and his managerial team, but worries about leaving Offaly without a manager mid-season.

“I can’t see Stephen Wallace and his management team lasting much longer and that’s just the way it is," he said.

"We have to call it as it is and that’s exactly what’s taking place at the moment. The players have lost faith in the management and Stephen’s place is untenable at the moment.”

"It’s not an easy situation to go and get a replacement management team, that is the biggest problem."

Offaly now face a long road if they are to qualify for the All-Ireland Super 8 series. While several members of the squad have already left Gavin said that the current situation is unfair on those who have stuck it out.

"The situation that unfolded yesterday was one of the most miserable we’ve ever seen in an Offaly camp," he said.

"The players deserve better. They’ve put in a huge effort in training. Difficult things lie ahead."

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