We aren't a long-term fix, says Terence McNaughton
Their season might have taken a turn for the better with a 3-20 to 0-17 win over Kildare in their opening Christy Ring Cup game on Saturday, but the interim management team of Antrim’s hurlers are not in it for the long haul, according to Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton.
After taking on the role following the departure of PJ O’Mullan, the Cushendall man became caretaker boss this summer with Dominic McKinley — who he shared the job with for several years a decade ago — and Dunloy’s Gary O’Kane.
But he has ruled out any chance of a longer stint at the helm.
“They need someone with a two or three-year plan. I don’t think that’s us,” the 1991 All-Star told the Belfast Telegraph.
“To do the job right, you are going in there and are bringing in a group of 18-year-olds.
“If we were there for three years I would be going and looking around for ten 18 or 19-year-olds. That’s what needs to be done for the future of Antrim and blend them in with the boys who are already there.
“But I don’t think that’s us. We are all getting on a bit and we have been there and done that.”
As to who should be the next manager, he feels the county contains a surplus of candidates and warns against looking for another Kevin Ryan or Dinny Cahill figure.
“I think there is enough good, young, fresh managers out there who would want a go at it,” he said. “I don’t think we need to panic and go running down south again. I think there are good guys in Antrim, good hurlers and at this moment in time, I would say it’s definitely not us.”
In the meantime, he is enjoying his second, short-lived coming in county management.
“I am happy. It’s your county, it’s your own. It’s no big deal to us, we are helping out our county until they get themselves sorted,” he said.
“The one thing I will say is that everybody that seems to be involved in the county administration, they are singing off the same hymn sheet.”
Antrim now face Roscommon in Round 2A this Saturday. There will be no return for former captain Neil McManus, however, who has yet to embark on his travels.
“Neil doesn’t go until May 10,” added McNaughton.
“We could have played Neil McManus in the first couple of games if we were successful, but it wouldn’t have been fair on the guys who are there.”