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Slaughtneil go for McWilliams to carry on where Moran left off

 

By John Campbell

Derry and Ulster club football champions Slaughtneil have moved quickly to fill the manager's post from which Mickey Moran stepped down just recently.

Terence McWilliams, a former manager of the club, is to step into the breach and faces the onerous task of maintaining the high standards set by Moran and his assistant John Joe Kearney.

McWilliams, a native of Kilrea, is a former Ulster Council Games Development Officer and is regarded as an authority on coaching.

He has achieved much in promoting the aims of coaching and is highly regarded within the GAA in the province.

Obviously Slaughtneil is now one of the highest-profile clubs in the country following their four successive Derry championship triumphs, their three Ulster club championship successes and their appearances in two All-Ireland club finals.

McWilliams is expected to confirm his backroom staff shortly. With the Derry championship not due to get under way until later in the year, he will have adequate time in which to make his preparations.

Slaughtneil were due to play their opening game in the league against Glen last night but because the pitches of both clubs were deemed unplayable, the match did not take place.

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Moran's departure has brought down the curtain on the most successful era in Slaughtneil's history. Yet the modest, unassuming Moran shunned the limelight during his term in charge leaving the affable and courteous Kearney to deal with the media.

While Moran and Kearney can justifiably bask in the euphoria generated by their team's admirable consistency, there remains a tinge of disappointment that the All-Ireland club title continued to prove elusive.

Yet it's worth bearing in mind that the homely club nestling in the heart of the Sperrins had won only one Derry title before Moran slipped into the hot seat.

Moran has extensive experience of inter-county management having taken charge of Donegal, Derry, Mayo and Leitrim.

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