Waterford last night released a statement to say that Kevin Sheedy and Mike Newell remain in charge at the RSC after day of drama where the managerial duo did not take training.
A Twitter post from the club said that Sheedy wished to “refute the baseless rumour” that both himself and Newell had resigned their posts. Fresh developments involving the position of out-of-favour goalkeeper Brian Murphy were central to the events that prompted speculation.
Murphy is regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the league having come home from the UK last year but he has been left out of the club’s squad for the last two games with Sheedy reluctant to take questions on the matter.
Owner Lee Power is understood to be bemused by the situation with Murphy and was keen for the 37-year-old to rejoin the group and a meeting to discuss his position was scheduled for yesterday morning.
But Sheedy and Newell did not attend the meeting, and did not oversee training either with a perplexed squad taking the pitch themselves and undergoing a session with the help of their fitness and goalkeeping coach.
Waterford sit second from bottom in the Premier Division table with one win and five defeats from their opening six games. Newell received his second red card of the season in Tuesday’s defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic.
Squad members are believed to have voiced concerns about aspects of tactical preparation for games. But the Twitter post said that Sheedy and Newell would be at the helm for tomorrow’s game with Longford.
Meanwhile, Dundalk’s sporting director Jim Magilton says that some “wonderful names” from around the football world have expressed their interest in the vacant manager’s position at Oriel Park.
Magilton, who has taken interim charge following the exits of Filippo Giovagnoli and Shane Keegan, has again said he has no intention of moving into the role on a permanent basis but stressed it will be important he has a strong rapport with the appointee.
Unsurprisingly, he has also confirmed that the role will only be open to Pro Licence holders with Giovagnoli’s failure to have one complicating his position, with Magilton quipping that the FAI’s coach education head Niall O’Regan would come after him like Liam Neeson in the movie Taken if they appointed another unqualified manager.
The ex-Northern Irish international joked that he was like ‘Postman Pat’ with the volume of applications and said he will work with chairman Bill Hulsizer and the club’s directors in narrowing them down to a shortlist before kicking off an interview process with no firm timeline on when the decision will be made.
“The game now is incredible,” says Magilton. “I’m getting more phonecalls than I’ve ever received in my life. At the minute, it’s like Postman Pat, everything is flying into me and then we’ve got to shift through it and sort it out.
“We’ll try to get the right person in as quickly as possible. But it has to be the right one,” added Magilton, who said that applications from “wonderful names” are capable of changing the thought process on what’s required.
“It does change your perspective,” he said. “You do have to have a look at it, but it’s very difficult in this situation because probably it will be Zoom calls.
“What will be good for me is getting a feel for the players – it will help formalise my thoughts and ideas on what is actually needed.”
Magilton confirmed that his friend Declan Devine would not be considered after his departure from Derry City, offering the view that he would need to take some time out.