Sunday 18 February 2018

Veteran McManus ponders Faithful comeback

Ciaran McManus
Ciaran McManus
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

OFFALY veteran Ciaran McManus is considering a return to inter-county football at 36.

The Tubber star retired last winter after 15 years with the Faithful County, but with Gerry Cooney gone from the manager's job after just a few months in charge, Offaly are looking to McManus to help steady the ship after a poor league campaign that saw the being relegated from Division 3.

"At the minute 'Macky' (McManus) is doing exams and I think he's trying to get them out of the way and then he's to make a decision about whether he'll come back in or not," revealed Offaly goalkeeper Alan Mulhall at yesterday's launch of the Leinster championships.

"At the start of the year I was the oldest person on the panel. I was 29 in September. Then Alan McNamee came back. He's the oldest so you've a very young panel. We probably were lacking a bit of leadership with the likes of 'Macky' and Scott (Brady) and Slatts (Karol Slattery) after going."

However, another veteran, Galway's Padraic Joyce, is unlikely to be fit to start his 15th championship campaign when the Tribesmen take on Roscommon on Sunday fortnight.

Joyce is struggling with a calf injury picked up in Galway's final league game against Kildare, and manager Alan Mulholland fears that he may have to plan without his most experienced player.

"He is working hard to recover but time is not on his side. There are still a couple of weeks to go but it is more important he makes a full recovery," said Mulholland.

Sean Moynihan is set to take over as Kerry junior football manager. Moynihan, who led Spa to the All-Ireland Intermediate final in 2010, takes over from Kerry O'Sullivan as the Kingdom prepare to take on Tipperary at the end of the month.

Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham is to be boosted by the return of goalkeeper James Skehill for the championship.

Cunningham's side will meet either Westmeath or Antrim in the Leinster quarter-final on June 3, and Skehill is poised to return after he suffered a dislocated shoulder.

"James is making good progress. His injury is still not fully healed, he'll need a few more weeks," said Tom Helebert, a member of the three-man management team, along with Mattie Kenny and Cunningham.

Irish Independent

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