Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

I'm delighted to be back in charge of Crossmaglen Rangers

Joe Kernan enjoyed huge success in his first spell in charge of Crossmaglen Rangers
Joe Kernan enjoyed huge success in his first spell in charge of Crossmaglen Rangers

Life is full of twists and turns. A week ago I made it very clear that I would not be in the running for the job of Crossmaglen Rangers manager primarily for business reasons.

But since then events have taken place which have seen me change my mind. And chief among these was a visit from three of the team's most experienced players – David McKenna, Johnny Hanratty and Paul Hearty – who pleaded with me to reconsider my decision.

Having pondered on their request and, given what I understand is a general consensus within the playing panel that I should apply for the post again, I decided I would give it a go.

And last night I was confirmed as manager once more, something that was certainly not on my radar a matter of days ago.

While I still have my new businesses, Sports Surfaces Ireland and Yellowtom, an on-line marketing company, to oversee the request from the players struck a distinct chord with me and persuaded me that I should take on the managerial role again.

There was disappointment within the club following the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to St Brigid's and there appears to be a strong feeling among the players that they can make a bold bid for the big prize next year.

The mood is very positive and upbeat and I would hope to further nurture this so that more success can come the way of the club.

I would hope to continue in my role as Ulster manager as this is something that I have enjoyed in recent years and the fact that the inter-provincial title has been captured on three occasions during my watch to date has afforded me considerable satisfaction.

But that will be a matter for the Ulster Council and we shall see what happens.

In the meantime, I will begin the preparatory work for the Armagh Senior Championship and hope that the Rangers can retain their county crown.

Tony McEntee and Gareth O'Neill achieved a great deal during their three-year management term and now I would hope to take over where they left off.

Crossmaglen Rangers has been my club since the day I was born and it's great to be back at the helm, particularly in view of the route which has taken me to the role again.

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