Wednesday 22 November 2017

Meath saga over at last as 'outsider' McEnaney gets the thumbs-up

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Seamus McEnaney last night became Meath's first 'outside' football manager.

After a divisive process lasting almost 10 weeks, Meath County Board accepted the recommendation of a three-man committee to appoint the Monaghan man for three years by 53 votes to 19. The size of the vote will have been critical to McEnaney, as it represents quite a decent mandate for him and his team, which includes Liam Harnan, Paul Grimley and Martin McElkennon.

All three members of the appointments committee -- county chairman Barney Allen, Liam Keane and Joe Cassells -- addressed the meeting. In Cassells' estimation "there wasn't a better management team available."

The expense of running the McEnaney team was also revealed at the meeting by board treasurer Pat Clerkin, who estimated it would be a maximum of €99,000, nine monthly payments of €11,000, covering January to September.

The process has been ongoing since early September when Eamonn O'Brien suffered a surprise 32-29 defeat. His name was put forward for ratification by the Meath management committee on September 6, but he was rebuffed.

McEnaney's claims hardened since his surprise union with the county's former centre-back Harnan, who has guided Skryne to a county title in recent weeks.

Only four candidates presented themselves for interview before the committee, the others being Gerry Cooney, Eamonn Barry and Pat Coyle. At one point it was thought that Cooney was the favourite.

The recommendation to appoint McEnaney has proved divisive with clubs holding special meetings to decide on how to mandate their delegates at last night's meeting.

Opinions have been polarised and fears over expense have been raised within Meath. However Allen and treasurer Clerkin both used the meeting to allay any such fears.

Irish Independent

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