Sunday 18 February 2018

O'Rourke gets approval in Louth

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Former Armagh defender Aidan O'Rourke has been confirmed as the new Louth football manager.

O'Rourke was ratified for a two-year term last night.

The 2002 All-Ireland medal winner is a development officer at Queen's University and has extensive inter-county experience over the last three years, spending two years with Kieran McGeeney as his assistant coach in Kildare before switching to Down.

O'Rourke was in the frame for the Monaghan job but was pipped by Malachy O'Rourke.

For a time the Louth job was thought to be between Fergal Reel, who managed St Patrick's to the Wee County title on Sunday, and Colin Kelly, the former star who was in charge of the U-21 team that lost the Leinster final.

Kelly withdrew from the race late last week and has also stepped down as U-21 manager.

O'Rourke replaces Peter Fitzpatrick, who stepped down after three years in July, having guided Louth to that controversial Leinster final defeat in 2010 by Meath.

O'Rourke is the third member of Joe Kernan's defence from 2002 currently involved in inter-county management, following on from McGeeney in Kildare and Justin McNulty in Laois. With Paul Grimley appointed in Armagh, it means that there are four from the county in charge of inter-county teams.

O'Rourke has yet to finalise selectors.

Meanwhile Mick O'Dowd was ratified in Meath and Frank Dawson in Antrim as new managers at county board meetings last night.

Irish Independent

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