Two Ulster managers currently feeling the full weight of the pressures which the Championship can impose and who have reached critical points in their respective careers have suddenly received ringing endorsements from different quarters.
While Kieran ‘Geezer’ McGeeney is mulling over his future with Kildare following the inauspicious exit from the All-Ireland series at the hands of Cork, Seamus McEnaney has already stepped down from his role as Meath boss and is currently thought to be a frontline candidate for the vacant Monaghan position.
McGeeney has already indicated that he will assess his players’ reactions before making any decision on his future but the 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winning captain now dramatically finds himself being mentioned in the context of the Meath position.
Liam Hayes, who played at midfield when Meath won the All Ireland title in 1987 and ’88 and is now one of the most respected media personnel in the sport, believes that McGeeney could be the man to revitalise Meath’s fortunes if he were to make himself available.
“McGeeney is one of the smartest, most brilliant managers in the game today bar none,” insists Hayes, “There are great managers all around. I know a couple of Dublin people who would give their right arm for the Meath job. There are good people who want the job and I wouldn't go with the theory that it has to be a Meath man.”
McGeeney is held in high esteem in Meath even though the Royal County overcame his Kildare side in the Leinster championship semi-final last month (1-17 to 1-11).
Hayes, never one to mince his words, believes that McEnaney took the job of managing Meath “on the rebound” following his departure from Monaghan and suggests that this did not necessarily provide the ideal backdrop from which he could operate.
McEnaney spent five years as Monaghan boss and could regain this post given that several clubs have nominated him for the post.
But it is unclear as to just what level of support he might enjoy from within the county executive.
New Armagh boss Paul Grimley, who worked as No 2 to McEnaney in Meath in 2011 before becoming Paddy O’Rourke’s assistant in the orchard county, is in no doubt about the Clonduff man’s credentials.
“Seamus eats and sleeps football, he gives one hundred per cent at all times.
“He did very good work with Monaghan when he was there and knows football in that county inside out.
“He still has a lot to offer, there is no doubt about that,” maintains Grimley.
Meanwhile, Derry manager John Brennan will meet with the county executive in the early part of next week to discuss his future. It is not known if he will be offered another year at the helm.