Wednesday 22 November 2017

McGrath and Carew eager to extend spells in charge

Sligo manager Niall Carew. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Sligo manager Niall Carew. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Pete McGrath has pledged allegiance to Fermanagh and is hoping to extend his tenure as manager with the Ernesiders.

Championship interest came to an end at the hands of Mayo on a scoreline of 2-14 to 1-12 in Round 2B of the Qualifiers but massive progress has been made during McGrath's three years in charge.

Fermanagh gained promotion to Division 2 in 2015 and went on a brilliant Qualifier run which was eventually halted by subsequent All-Ireland winners Dublin after a spirited quarter-final display.

It is understood that the two-time All-Ireland-winning manager will be reappointed after making his intentions clear. "I'd be more than happy to stay on if they want me," McGrath said.

"I thought about a lot of things and, at the end of it all, it's in everyone's interests that a decision be made sooner rather than later. There's a lot of potential within the squad.

"The group of players have worked exceptionally hard over this last number of years and I think there is another level or two in them, and I'd be very keen to be the person leading the charge to get that out of them."

Similarly, current Sligo boss Niall Carew has admitted that he'd like to continue his role with the Yeats County but acknowledges that the decision will not be his.

The former Waterford boss has spent two years in the west and this year's campaign came to an unsatisfactory conclusion last Saturday with defeat to Clare after a positive opening, which saw them lead 0-7 to 0-3, was undone in the closing 35 minutes.

Carew hopes to get a chance to atone in 2017 but knows his fate is in the hands of others.

"That is a decision for the clubs and county board, but I would like to be back. I think we have made some progress; obviously it is slower than I would like but they are a great bunch of lads to work with," Carew said.

"I know they are very disappointed, bitterly disappointed with their second-half performance and if they could play it again maybe they would do some things differently but that's how it is."

Reaching last year's Connacht SFC final, after upsetting Roscommon in the last four, has been the highlight of his reign but they subsequently suffered a heavy defeat to Mayo.

Elsewhere, Down skipper Kevin McKernan has backed manager Eamonn Burns to remain in charge despite a disastrous season which saw them go without a win in league or championship with Longford ending their summer run.

Irish Independent

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