Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Down boss McCartan troubled by lack of assistance

James McCartan

James McCartan, who has been in charge of Down for the past three years, finds himself in a limbo situation right now.

Let down: James McCartan



As he prepares to meet Down officials to review the past season, the Burren clubman has encountered frustration in his bid to put a new backroom team in place.

Trainer Martin McElkennon’s decision not to link up with the Mourne county means McCartan now has to go back to the drawing board.

But while Down officials and thousands of the county’s fans await developments on McCartan’s future, the man who brought the Mournemen to the 2010 All Ireland final will focus on home talent tonight when his club Burren meet Longstone in a Down senior football championship quarter-final at Pairc Esler Newry.

Burren will lean on their quota of county aces including Daniel McCartan, Gerard McCartan, Declan Rooney, Donal O’Hare and Kevin McKernan to ignite what boss Frank Dawson hopes will be a comprehensive performance.

Down skipper Ambrose Rogers and playmaker Mark Poland will have key roles for Longstone.

The other match in tonight’s double bill sees Saval take on Mayobridge. Saval are likely to again be without the influential Danny Hughes and this could help open the door to another semi-final appearance for Mayobridge .

Tomorrow night’s double bill at Pairc Esler throws up a fascinating meeting between Bryansford and Rostrevor and what should prove an interesting clash between Kilcoo and Castlewellan.

Former Down All Ireland winning manager Peter McGrath, who is the Bryansford boss, is a long-time resident of Rostrevor, while Kilcoo, champions a few years ago, could prove too strong for Castlewellan.

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