Friday 23 March 2018

Evans in Wicklow switch as merry-go-round picks up pace

John Evans has been appointed Wicklow’s new manager. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE
John Evans has been appointed Wicklow’s new manager. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

John Evans has been appointed Wicklow's new manager as football's managerial merry-go-round begins to pick up pace.

In total, 11 football teams have parted company with their managers over the course of this campaign with Evans set to take up his third managerial role in inter-county football following on from stints in Roscommon and Tipperary.

Kerry native Evans has enjoyed plenty of league success, winning a Division 2 title with Roscommon in 2015 as well as two Division 3 trophies (Tipperary in 2009 and Roscommon in '14). Evans, who guided Laune Rangers to an All-Ireland club title in 1996, has been handed a three-year term and succeeds former Dublin footballer Johnny Magee in the role.

"(John) Evans is renowned for his man management style and his ability to find and develop players to inter-county standard," read a statement on the Wicklow GAA's website.

"Under Johnny Magee, Wicklow had a very young squad and the hard work done by the Kilmacud man in his tenure in developing the squad will be carried on by Evans.

"(Selection committee member) Cllr Gerry Walsh, from éire Óg, spoke very highly of John Evans and how the incoming manager had impressed with his knowledge of Wicklow GAA and his obvious enthusiasm for the role."

Wicklow follow Cork and Laois in getting their business sorted early. Cork appointed Ronan McCarthy earlier this month, while another Kerry native John Sugrue is set to take charge of Laois after Peter Creedon's decision to step down.

However, there are still a host of counties without a manager with Offaly, Westmeath, Fermanagh, Antrim, Wexford, Louth, Donegal and Derry all searching for new managers. Pat Flanagan and Offaly parted ways while Tom Cribbin is no longer in charge of the Westmeath footballers.

Pete McGrath was ousted from his role as Fermanagh boss after the players made it clear they didn't want the Down native back at the helm for another season.

Antrim also need a new manager after their joint management team of Gearóid Adams and Frank Fitzsimons withdrew from the process that might have seen them continue in the role.

Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney parted ways with the Wexford footballers, citing the commute from his base in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan to the south-east as the major factor in his decision not to oversee a second term.

Louth are in the market for a replacement for Colin Kelly while Donegal - the only Division 1 county to change managers - are searching for a successor to Rory Gallagher after his surprise decision to step down.

Donegal's near-neighbours Derry are also in the market for the manager after Damien Barton stepped down from the role after two years in charge.

Irish Independent

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