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Down's Jim McCorry quits despite pledge of support from board

By John Campbell

The GAA in Down is today coming to terms with the shock resignation of county football boss Jim McCorry.

It was just a few weeks ago that the former Kilcoo manager was appointed for another term although only after club delegates had given him the green light to continue on a 22-20 vote after the county executive committee had passed a vote of no-confidence in him.

McCorry, who steps down with immediate effect, is understood to be disenchanted with the lack of enthusiasm on the part of county officials to implement certain measures designed to take the team forward.

He has served just one year in charge and having taken the side into Division One of the Allianz League in the first few months of the year, the wheels fell off the Mourne wagon when they lost to Derry in the Ulster Championship and Wexford in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

If the controversial dismissal of defender Conaill McGovern was deemed an unfortunate factor in the loss to Derry, there were no mitigating circumstances surrounding the shock upset at Wexford's hands which triggered a sharp reaction throughout the county.

McCorry, who guided Kilcoo to three county senior titles, formerly managed Armagh and it is understood that he had already attended a number of domestic club championship matches in Down as a precursor to drawing up his panel for 2016, but clearly he and the county executive were not singing from the same hymn sheet.

Members of the executive actually met with McCorry no later than Monday night when it is understood that he was assured of their 100 per cent support - something that was not evident in the aftermath of the Wexford defeat when a review of the season was undertaken.

And it had been made clear that the county board "would not be found wanting" in their support for Jim and his players in 2016, but these reassurances have come too late.

McCorry obviously had his mind made up to vacate the position in which he succeeded James McCartan following last year's championship.

McCorry had come under fire from some former players including Benny Coulter and Danny Hughes for his selection policy although he was forced to make do with players who made themselves available to him on invitation.

McCorry becomes the second high-profile Ulster team manager to step aside as he follows in the footsteps of Derry manager Brian McIver who dramatically called it quits in the immediate aftermath of his team's qualifier loss to Galway.

Belfast Telegraph


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