Sunday 17 December 2017

Evans still keen to return to management despite Roscommon exit

John Evans is still keen to manage despite leaving Roscommon
John Evans is still keen to manage despite leaving Roscommon
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

John Evans has not closed the door on inter-county management in the future despite his surprise decision to step down in Roscommon last week.

Evans was poised to have his three-year term extended by another 12 months as a recommendation from the county's executive committee was due to be put to clubs.

But the Kerry man, who previously managed Tipperary and had a championship season involved as coach to Meath, informed the board just hours before that meeting that he was withdrawing as speculation mounted that there was momentum among some clubs to try to oust him.

Evans has now revealed that he had heard of at least one high-profile figure in the county who was not on his side and he confronted one of them directly about the issue.

"I went to one of the rebels that I knew was going against the thing, faced him up and asked him if he wanted me out for next year. He said, 'That's right, I think you've done a great job and it's time to move on'."

Evans said he couldn't see himself "sitting into the car and driving three-and-a-half hours and battling against that".

Desite the hasty exit, he said the experience hadn't soured him in anyway because he "doesn't sour easily" and if the right opportunity comes along he will jump at it.

"Why should very few taint the good times that I had up there," he asked.

He said he had received quite a number of text messages of appreciation from players who had worked under him for the three years that he was there and that was the most heartening thing of all.

"I'm going to recharge the batteries and then return with both swords drawn," he laughed. "In my last job in serious crime there weren't enough hours in the day and I'll do something."

Evans managed Roscommon to three titles in a 12-month spell, Division 3 and Division 2 leagues and a Connacht League for the first time in 16 years.

Kevin McStay and former manager Fergie O'Donnell are thought to be among the front-runners with a partnership between them gaining plenty of support locally.

Meanwhile, it's understood that Jason Ryan has met with Kildare officials since the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final drubbing to Kerry and has reiterated his desire to remain in charge for a third year.

Tipperary GAA has showed its warm appreciation to Eamon O'Shea, who managed the county's hurlers for the last time in Sunday's defeat to Galway.

In a statement issued yesterday, they praised his contribution over three years.

"You are more than a "footnote" you are the foundation, the platform, the genesis of things to come. The future is bright, the future is Blue and Gold because of your contribution and for that the players salute you; we salute you, farewell and thanks," the statement read.

Irish Independent

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