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Deegan may succeed Tally as Down boss

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Conor Deegan. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Conor Deegan. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Conor Deegan. Credit: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Former Down All-Ireland winner Conor Deegan is understood to be in the frame to succeed Paddy Tally as Mourne County boss.

Tally, who stepped down on Thursday night after three years in charge, tendered his resignation to the county board in the wake of Down’s exit from the Ulster Senior Football Championship in which they were beaten by Donegal (3-25 to 1-12).

Trainer of the first Tyrone team to win an All-Ireland title in 2003, Tally steered St Mary’s University College to Sigerson Cup glory a few years ago and since then assisted then Galway manager Kevin Walsh before throwing in his lot with Down.

The Down county board, under the chairmanship of John Devaney, intend to move as quickly as possible in order  to confirm a successor so that the appointee will have the maximum time in which to prepare the team for the 2022 season – the Covid-19 threat permitting, that is.

Deegan, who may yet be joined by other candidates for the post, won All-Ireland senior medals with Down in 1991 and 1994 as a commanding full-back and since calling time on his playing career he has been involved in management and coaching.

Having been based in Dublin for over 15 years, he had managerial spells with a number of clubs in the city including Naomh Mearnog, Skerries Harps, Ballyboden St Enda’s and Kilmacud Crokes before returning to his native Down where he took up the reins of the county U20 team.

When he stepped down from this role he was succeeded by Kilcoo player Conor Laverty, who made his touchline debut with the Down U20 side in last night’s Ulster Championship quarter-final at Kingspan Breffni against Cavan.  

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