Sunday 26 January 2020

McGleenan lands Cavan job as O'Neill wields the axe in Kildare

Mattie McGleenan is set to become the next Cavan football team Photo: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile
Mattie McGleenan is set to become the next Cavan football team Photo: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Mattie McGleenan is to be ratified as the next Cavan football manager.

McGleenan, who featured for Tyrone in the 1995 All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin, is the preferred choice of the interview committee, who put his name before the management committee last night.

McGleenan has led Scotstown to three of the last four Monaghan senior titles, and they lost an Ulster club final to Crossmaglen Rangers last year after extra-time.

He has been preferred for the role to former Monaghan and Meath manager Seamus McEnaney. Former Dublin footballer and Longford manager Jack Sheedy was also in the running.

McGleenan will succeed Terry Hyland, who stepped down in early August after five years in charge, but will have a tough start to life as an inter-county manager as Cavan are in Division 1 of the NFL next year and have All-Ireland champions Dublin in Kingspan Breffni Park for their first fixture.

The make up of his backroom team is not yet known but former Longford manager Mick McCormack works with him in Scotstown, as does former Monaghan minor manager Colin McAree.

In Louth, manager Colin Kelly has drafted in former colleague Aaron Hoey as a selector. Hoey takes over from Ollie McDonnell, who has stepped away after two years involved.

Former Derry manager Paddy Crozier, who was with Louth this year, has also departed. Kelly has yet to confirm that a second selector has been put in place.

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Meanwhile, Kildare manager Cian O'Neill has made a number of changes to his squad for the 2017 that could spell the end of some long-serving players.

Padraig O'Neill and Hugh McGrillen have been released back to their clubs, midfielder Daryl Flynn has retired while Morgan O'Flaherty and Ciaran Fitzpatrick have both stepped away.

O'Neill, Flynn, O'Flaherty and McGrillen were central figures on the Kildare team that reached five successive All-Ireland quarter-finals during Kieran McGeeney's time in charge.

The new Ulster Council secretary has also been confirmed as former Down GAA secretary Brian McAvoy; he takes over from fellow Down man Danny Murphy, who stepped down during the summer.

In recent times, McAvoy has acted as an adviser to Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín.

High on his list of priorities will be the redevelopment of Casement Park in Belfast. In recent months the Ulster Council conducted an outreach project to gauge the concerns of the local population, and presented their findings as overwhelmingly positive towards the redevelopment of the stadium.

However, the burning concern is of precisely how much they can get away with in terms of stadium capacity.

Irish Independent

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