Sunday 25 February 2018

Offaly boss admits to being in dark over McNamee intentions

Niall McNamee. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Niall McNamee. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Brian Lowry

Offaly football manager Pat Flanagan has admitted that he is unsure whether star forward Niall McNamee will be returning to the panel this year.

In the wake of Sunday's four-point defeat to Tipperary, which keeps them at the bottom of Division 3, Flanagan admitted that he was in the dark about the Rhode forward's inter-county future.

"I can't answer that. I was in touch with him a while back but I have no update from when I last said that he told me he had a stomach muscle problem," he explained. "That's the last that I was talking to Niall on it."

Sunday's defeat to Tipperary came two weeks after Offaly were hammered by 30 points by Armagh, for which Flanagan and his panel took a lot of criticism for within the county.

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At the March meeting of the Offaly County Board, delegates asked that Flanagan meet with club chairmen, secretaries and senior club managers to discuss things. That meeting happened last Thursday.

Concentrate

"It was a bad experience (Armagh game). For the next two or three nights there was no sleep and there were no thoughts of anything other than the defeat. We met on the Wednesday night and we said we would draw a line through it. We said we would concentrate on the next three matches and see what we could do.

"I've never any problem meeting anyone that wants to meet to progress Offaly football. I was very disappointed with some of the comments that were made (at the March meeting of Offaly County Board) and I asked the gentleman to retract them because there was absolutely no substance in those comments. Hopefully, that will happen in the near future.

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"In the medium that they used to put it out there, my backroom team or players don't deserve that and I don't deserve it either. There is no place for it in Offaly football. It went out to the national media and all it is going to do is bring Offaly football down. Nobody will ever hurt me from the outside more than I will hurt from the inside after a defeat like that."

It has been a difficult few weeks for them but they have been buoyed by the U-21s reaching a Leinster final, while they have two games - against Sligo and Laois - to save their skin in Division 3.

"You have to give credit to the players," Flanagan added. "They took an awful lot of stick over the last two weeks but they really performed exceptionally well (against Tipp). Had we got the rub of the green in a few places, I think we could have came out on top."

Irish Independent

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