Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

O’Rourke gets nod in Monaghan

Malachy O'Rourke is to be named the new Monaghan manager

Monaghan county board are set to name Malachy O'Rourke as their new manager when club delegates meet tonight to ratify his appointment.

O'Rourke, who managed Fermanagh for a three-year spell from from 2008 to 2010, has been granted a three-year period.

He beat off competition from Aidan O'Rourke, whose role as selector in Down will now come under fierce scrutiny, and Michael McDermott, who had been managing Clare for the past few years.

Former manager Seamus McEnaney also was in for the job, but it is understood that the county administration were keen on making their first outside managerial appointment since Colm Coyle of Meath was in the hot-seat.

It is understood O'Rourke will be bringing his long-time coaching partner Leo McBride with him into the Oriel job, with selectors to be announced in the coming weeks.

Former Fermanagh player O'Rourke began his managerial career in Monaghan, bringing Tyholland to senior status by winning an Intermediate Championship. His next job was with Loup in Derry, where they captured only the second county Championship in their history in 2003, before going on to win the Ulster Club.

He followed that success up with Championship wins with Errigal Ciaran in 2006, and Cavan Gaels a year later.

As manager of Fermanagh, he brought the Erne county to their first Ulster final in 26 years in 2008, and only for a free-taking malfunction on the first day would have captured their first Anglo-Celt. As it transpired, they were well beaten in their replay against Armagh.

After stepping down from Fermanagh in 2010, he has been coaching underage sides in Errigal Ciaran, and has been involved in Latton in Monaghan.

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Over 2,000 people turned up to watch Donegal players go through a training session on Saturday and this has served to convince manager Jim McGuinness that the decision to whisk his squad away for a five-day bonding exercise at Johnstown, Co Meath is the right one.

It had been thought at one stage that Donegal might travel to Celtic’s headquarters in Glasgow for the build-up but the Johnstown House Hotel where Donegal based themselves for five days before they met Derry in the Ulster championship, affords greater seclusion.

McGuinness, clearly surprised at the depth of fervour which his team’s appearance in the All-Ireland final against Mayo has created, throughout the province, is now anxious to play down the unrelenting hype surrounding the game.

He is also focusing on minor knocks which key players Neil Gallagher and Karl Lacey have picked up and both have been undertaking only limited training.

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