O’Rourke will be back before long
Two Ulster titles, five qualifications for the All-Ireland quarter-finals, one semi-final appearance, promotion from Divisions 3 to 1 in successive years and 3rd, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 6th-placed finishes in the top flight since 2015. Only Dublin, Kerry and Mayo had higher average placing in those five seasons.
That’s Malachy O’Rourke’s record as Monaghan manager over the past seven years, a term that ended with the defeat by Armagh.
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He started in 2013 at the same time as Jim Gavin took over in Dublin. Their phenomenal success rate since then has left Gavin regarded as one of the best managers in GAA history.
On a pro rata basis, Monaghan’s achievements under O’Rourke are equally as good. With the sixth smallest county population (61,500), Monaghan have been punching consistently hard above their weight.
O’Rourke presided over it, while also maintaining a bigger picture outlook regarding club activity. He will in demand elsewhere, as indeed he should be.