Thursday 18 April 2019

Evans still has ambition for Kingdom sideline involvement

Wicklow manager John Evans. Photo: Sportsfile
Wicklow manager John Evans. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

John Evans has not ruled out playing a future role in a Kerry management team if the opportunity ever rose.

The Killorglin man, currently in charge of Wicklow, said he didn't consider the "door shut" on his native county and would "always be willing to help out," in the future.

Evans was interested when Pat O'Shea was appointed in 2007, he admitted.

"It was certainly always an ambition of mine.

"It's funny enough, when you play against Kerry you're not really considered as a guy then that should be managing Kerry. It's a loyalty thing," he suggested at yesterday's Leinster GAA Football Championship launch in Trim.

"I would certainly like to get involved in Kerry management as some stage again. Maybe not as the manager.

"But with Wicklow at the moment, without a shadow of a doubt it's the biggest challenge I've ever taken on.

"I took it on because of that and I can clearly state here now that I was offered a couple of other jobs but this bloody challenge of Wicklow!

"Not that I was going for lowest, weaker teams but I just think it can be done."

Idol With Wicklow, Evans is following in the footsteps of his "absolute idol" Mick O'Dwyer.

But he said his approach to progress in the Garden County would be different to O'Dwyer who focused primarily on championship.

"I think he should have got them up from Division 4 to 3 to 2 (of the Allianz League). He had gone to the last 12, that's what Wicklow needed. But I think what Micko needed was a Leinster Championship win.

"That's the way he thought. He had very high thought processes. It's just a pity that Wicklow didn't get up there."

Evans feels Kerry should have promoted their younger players a year earlier but suggests they won't be far behind Dublin at the end of this year.

"They're just six, maybe 12 months behind but definitely I see the dynamic changing," he said.

"I said three years ago, when 'Gooch' would go from Kerry and Bernard Brogan from Dublin and the entourage attached to those boys, the whole thing is going to open up and who was going to be better prepared.

"At the moment, it looks like Dublin are but I don't think Kerry will be too far behind."

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