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Counties fear end of 'outside' appointments

By Martin Breheny

Fears have emerged among county boards that GAA authorities are set to announce major restrictions on the appointment of outside management teams.

With nine football managers and one hurling boss having resigned in recent weeks, team management has become a major issue which Croke Park is monitoring closely.



GAA director general Paraic Duffy is working on a set of proposals which he will put before the Management Committee next month as the GAA gears up for its latest war on illegal payments to outside managers.



Ironically, Duffy's home county of Monaghan is the latest facing the search for a new manager after Seamus McEnaney yesterday announced that he would not be seeking reappointment.



He looked certain to return for a further three-year stint, but a recent county board meeting decided to seek nominations from the clubs, prompting McEnaney to step down.



He is, of course, a Monaghan native, but had Paul Grimley (Armagh) and Martin McElkennon (Tyrone) aboard as assistants.



There's a growing belief among counties that Duffy's proposals will involve restrictions on 'imported' managers and coaches.



Duffy has emphasised that the managerial issue relates to clubs as much as counties, as anecdotal evidence suggests that illegal payments are even more rife at local level.



Duffy remains adamant that the battle to retain the GAA's amateur ethos has to be stepped up, pointing out that ignoring it is not an option. "The least acceptable option is to continue to proclaim a value and, at the same time, ignore it," he said.



McEnaney becomes the ninth football manager to resign since their counties were eliminated from this year's championship.



John Joe Doherty (Donegal), Malachy O'Rourke (Fermanagh), Tommy Carr (Cavan), Damien Cassidy (Derry), John O'Mahony (Mayo), Joe Kernan (Galway), Sean Dempsey (Laois) and Mickey Ned O'Sullivan (Limerick) all quit earlier, as did Laois hurling manager Niall Rigney.



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