Wednesday 14 November 2018

Croker 'concern' at Evans' Premier role

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

TIPPERARY have received correspondence from Croke Park officials regarding John Evans' position, outlining the association's concern over his appointment as the county's director of football.

Evans' position was discussed at the GAA's management committee meeting last Saturday in the context of the attempt to curb the involvement of full-time GAA coaches with inter-county teams and clubs other than their own.

Under the GAA's human resources guidelines, no full-time coach should be involved with these teams, barring exceptional circumstances, and that directly affects Brian Cody's trainer in Kilkenny, Mick Dempsey, who has been appointed games manager in Carlow.

The position of Kerryman Evans is different from that again. He has been the Tipperary football manager for the last two years and has been operating as director of football, overseeing a strategy to develop the game in the county since January 1.

Croke Park officials are concerned at the implication of having a full-time coach, salaried by a unit of the association, in charge of an inter-county team.

Tipperary sought clarification as to what rule they are breaking and GAA headquarters responded by stating that the position of director of football in a county is not governed by any rule.

That being the case, Tipp are determined that Evans should remain on in his role as team manager having guided them from Division 4 to Division 2 in just two seasons -- a highly-impressive achievement for a county where hurling dominates.

In the meantime, Evans is continuing with his daily work as Tipperary roll out a 10-year development plan to promote football in the county.

The Tipperary executive will discuss the matter at their next meeting later this month, with a clear preference for Evans remaining on as county team manager.

Evans, who retired from An Garda Siochana last summer, has been given a three-year contract by Tipperary.

Tipperary have been keen to make a clear distinction between the roles by pointing out that what Evans does in his own spare time is down to him.

However, the GAA's insistence that the 'director of football' position is not covered by any rule may force Tipperary to do away with the job.

It was decided at last weekend's management committee meeting to establish a sub-committee to look at the involvement of the likes of Dempsey and others involved in coaching work outside of their full-time positions.

The crux over Dempsey has angered Kilkenny, as he is understood to have been head-hunted by the Leinster Council. He has been involved with Cody's backroom team for the last five years.

There is a clause in the agreement with the new games managers, which allows them to coach a team in 'exceptional circumstances'.

Irish Independent

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