Wednesday 18 July 2018

John Evans steps down as Roscommon football manager

Roscommon manager John Evans. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship
Roscommon manager John Evans. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship

Sean McGoldrick

Roscommon GAA boss John Evans is to step down.

The Kerry native guided Roscommon from Division 3 to a place in the top flight of the Allianz League this season.

But the team’s surprising failure to make an impact in the championship this summer probably prompted Evans not to seek an extension of his term.

In a statement Evans – who previously managed Tipperary – thanked his staff as well as the players for their efforts.

“The wonderfully dedicated players who dared to go where others thought they should not tread, who have risen up and brought Roscommon galloping up from Division 3 straight through Division 2 and up to the top of the pile into Division 1 – all I can say I am immensely proud of you all.

“Three trophies in three years -not bad for a start!  I look forward to seeing you mix it with the best as ‘eventually’ Roscommon will be the best.”

Roscommon’s surprise loss to Sligo in the Connacht championship semi-final was compounded when they threw away a five point lead in the closing six minutes of their All-Ireland qualifying match against Fermanagh.

Pete McGrath’s side eventually went on to contest the All-Ireland quarter final against Dublin.

Prior to the championship Evans had infamously said that Roscommon should be thinking in terms of winning an All-Ireland title.

Despite their woeful championship performances this season, Roscommon remain one of the teams who potentially could challenge for championship honours before the end of the decade.

Mayo native Kevin McStay, who managed Roscommon county champions St Brigid’s to an All-Ireland club title in 2013 would be an obvious candidate to replace Evans if he is interested in becoming an inter county manager.

Evans joins a growing band of managers who have quit this summer. The list includes Brian McIver (Derry), Jack Sheehy (Longford), Tomas O’Flaharta (Laois), Tom Creedon (Tipperary) and Brian Cuthbert (Cork).

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