Thursday 21 March 2019

Rainbow on Rossie radar as Lacey leaves Donegal

Donegal manager Declan Bonner with Karl Lacey who looks set to step down as one of his selectors. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal manager Declan Bonner with Karl Lacey who looks set to step down as one of his selectors. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Anthony Rainbow has emerged as a leading candidate to fill the vacant Roscommon senior football post with officials believed to be looking outside the county to find a successor for Kevin McStay.

With McStay standing down in early September, Roscommon are the only senior football side yet to confirm a manager for next season but former Carlow manager Rainbow is understood to be on their radar.

With his Ballyboden-St Enda's side exiting the Dublin SFC at the semi-final stage last weekend, the Kildare legend is available to take up the position and is likely to be tempted by the prospect of Division 1 football in 2019.

Several other outside candidates are believed to have been contacted about the job including former Mayo boss Stephen Rochford and Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan - both ruled themselves out at an early stage - but Rainbow has emerged as a frontrunner with an appointment expected in the coming weeks.

It's also understood that Donegal boss Declan Bonner is on the lookout for a new football coach with Karl Lacey stepping aside after one season in the role.

Lacey, the 2012 Footballer of the Year, retired from the inter-county game last year before immediately stepping into management and was widely praised by the squad for his work with the Ulster champions.

The Four Masters clubman, a lecturer in Letterkenny IT, is believed to have cited family commitments for his departure while there may be other changes to come in Bonner's backroom team for next season.

Meanwhile, Connacht champions Galway have received a significant boost ahead of next year's campaign with Cillian McDaid returning home from Australia after spending a year with AFL side Carlton.

The 22-year-old joined the Blues last November after impressing with the Galway U-21 footballers on their way to an All-Ireland final appearance while also making his senior championship debut against Kerry.

McDaid - also an All-Ireland minor hurling winner in 2015 - is likely to feature in Kevin Walsh's plans for the coming season as the Tribesmen look to build on a promising 2018.

Louth's Ciaran Byrne also leaves the Melbourne club after making 22 senior appearances despite a host of injury problems, including a torn cruciate ligament in 2016.

The 23-year-old was in action for St Mochta's on Sunday as they claimed Louth intermediate football honours and could feature in new Wee boss Wayne Kierans plans when he overcomes his latest injury setback.

"What an experience it was. A massive thank you to the Carlton and Northern Blues football club for the last six years," Byrne said on Instagram yesterday.

"I really enjoyed my time albeit riddled with injuries. I couldn't spend any more time away from family, friends and the GAA. Unfortunately, my GAA career will be put on hold with a small ankle hiccup."

Elsewhere, Derry's Anton Tohill, son of Oak Leaf legend Anthony, is going in the opposite direction having signed for AFL side Collingwood on a two-year professional contract.

Irish Independent

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