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Anxious managers await county boards’ decisions

Three county football team bosses will know within the next month if they are to continue in their posts for 2012.

Paddy O’Rourke (Armagh), John O’Neill (Fermanagh) and Seamus McEnaney (Meath) are facing an anxious wait as their respective county boards take stock of their teams’ performances this year.

It is believed that while O’Rourke is keen to continue at the helm of the Orchard County and would appear to have the backing of the executive committee, his future will be in the hands of club delegates who are expected to vote on whether he continues in charge when they convene in a few weeks at a full county board meeting.

Armagh had an uninspiring National League campaign and failed to make any real impact in the Ulster and All-Ireland Championships in which they exited to Derry and Tyrone respectively.

Fermanagh manager O’Neill has had a traumatic first year in charge.

His side wallowed in Division Four of the National League and were knocked out of the Ulster Championship by Derry before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of minnows London in the qualifiers.

A special committee is undertaking a detailed review of the season to date and will report back to the county board.

It is expected then that a decision will be taken on O’Neill’s future as the team manager.

Fermanagh of course were hit by several defections from their squad earlier in the year which impacted adversely on their championship prospects.

O’Neill, a former county Minor boss, has indicated his willingness to continue and has expressed the belief that there is emerging talent within the county that could potentially be harnessed into a winning side.

Seamus McEnaney, meanwhile, who took Monaghan to last year’s Ulster final before eventually being installed as the new Meath manager in succession to Eamon O’Brien, will have discussions with county board officials, players and of course his backroom staff before deciding if he will continue in charge.

Meath were beaten by Kildare in the All-Ireland qualifiers in one of the best matches of the championship series and while McEnaney is understood to be keen to continue, it is believed that he wants certain things to be in place before he commits himself to the role again.

“Really, what it amounts to is that all the ducks will have to be in a straight row before there is an agreement between the various parties for the team management to continue on for another year,” insists McEnaney.

With Mickey Harte (Tyrone), John Brennan (Derry), Val Andrews (Cavan) and James McCartan (Down) certain to continue in their posts the status quo will largely be maintained.

Antrim manager Liam Bradley has still to formally confirm that he will stay at the helm.

And it goes without saying that Jim McGuinness will be very much in charge of Donegal next year and perhaps for some time to come after bringing them into Division Two of the league and to an Ulster title already this year with the possibility of the Sam Maguire Cup — they face Dublin in the semi-final — still to come.

Belfast Telegraph


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