Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

McCorry is leading the race to take over Down hotseat

Stepped down: James McCartan quit as Down boss in July

Down chairman Seamus Walsh is heading up a special sub-committee tasked with finding a successor to county football boss James McCartan, who stepped down last month.

The sub-committee, which includes vice-chairman Willie James Smith and treasurer Brendan Fitzpatrick among others, is expected to make a recommendation in relation to the appointment at the next meeting of the county board.

While it is understood that the sub-committee has commenced its trawl of potential candidates, current Kilcoo boss Jim McCorry is still regarded as being in pole position for the post.

The former Armagh manager, though, is expected to see out his final year as Kilcoo boss even if he should land the Down job.

He has already indicated that this will be his last year with Kilcoo and with only one round of fixtures left in the All County League, the way has been paved for the spotlight to fall on the championship, the quarter-finals of which are fixed for the weekend of September 6/7, the semi-finals for September 20/21 and the final on Sunday October 5.

Thus if McCorry, who has brought Kilcoo to the Down title in each of the past two years and has also taken the side as well as Mayobridge into Ulster club championship finals, were to be appointed he could easily see out his year with Kilcoo if they were to win the county final again and gain entry to the Ulster Club championship.

Chairman Walsh makes it clear, though, that he is anxious to see the county manager's post filled "sooner rather than later."

"I think if the appointment was made sooner rather than later this would facilitate us going forward," says the Down chief.

Meanwhile, Cavan strength and conditioning coach Peter Donnelly is still viewed as a possible candidate to fill one of the important support roles in Mickey Harte's Tyrone management team.

Donnelly, a member of the Coalisland club, has won two All-Ireland medals with the Red Hands and is a full-time employee with the Cavan county board. He won minor and Under-21 All-Ireland medals with Tyrone in 2001.

Tyrone PRO Eunan Lindsay confirmed that Harte himself will furnish the county board with those whom he feels are best suited to fill the vacancies left by assistant manager Tony Donnelly and trainer Fergal McCann.

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