Tuesday 17 July 2018

John Evans claims people 'actively canvassed' to get rid of him as Roscommon boss

Former Roscommon manager John Evans
Former Roscommon manager John Evans

Former Roscommon manager John Evans has revealed his reasons for stepping down as boss of this year's Division Two champions.

The Roscommon County Board were due to debate Evans' future on the day that the Kerry native decided to end his association with the Connacht side.

Back-to-back league titles achieved under his tenure mean that the Rossie will compete in Division One but a disappointing Championship campaign saw them beaten by Sligo in Conacht and Fermanagh in the qualifiers.

Speaking on Game On on 2FM, Evans claimed that a number of people wanted him out and he wasn't prepared to work with the new executive of the county board.

"It was a bit more than putting pressure on me, a few people actively canvassed clubs not to reinstate me," he said

"To any manager out there, you must know one thing, you need to have your chairman, or the chairman coming in... he has to be your right-hand man whether it's club or county, he is the man who has to back you.

"If you were working under those circumstances, leaving Kerry and going for three-and-a-half hours... I didn't have the belly for that.

"Sean Kelly told me one time, 'John, I'm in politics now but GAA politics is the toughest, the roughest you'd ever get in your life.

"I would have to praise the current county board, I put a lot of big questions to them and expense to move training and get the right people involved.

Evans also revealed that he received a number of special messages from players following his announcement that he wouldn't be seeking another year at the helm.

"They were heartwarming, they were tremendous. It hurt me to read those because I knew what it meant to the lads. We had a great bond," he added.

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