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Joe Kernan back in Crossmaglen hot seat

By Orla Bannon

Joe Kernan has been appointed team manager of club giants Crossmaglen Rangers.

Kernan has been tempted into a return to his old job, having won three All-Irelands during his first spell in charge in the late 1990s before going on to manage Armagh to All-Ireland success in 2002.

After one year with Galway and then a break away from inter-county management, he has now answered the call to take charge of the six-time All-Ireland winners once again.

Tony McEntee and Gareth O'Neill stepped down after defeat to St Brigid's in the All-Ireland semi-final last month, having won three Ulster titles and two All-Irelands in their three years in charge.

The club were keen to get Kernan – whose four sons Stephen, Aaron, Tony and Paul are established on the senior team – to return and the club met last night to ratify his appointment.

His first championship game in charge will be in September against the winners of Dromintee and Pearse Og.

Kernan is also in charge of the Ulster team, who won a third inter-provincial title in a row last month.

He first took over as Cross manager in 1993, making the big breakthrough in 1996 when they won the Armagh and Ulster titles before going on to win their first All-Ireland the following spring.

A golden era followed, with back-to-back All-Irelands in 1999 and 2000.

Kernan quit Crossmaglen after losing to Castleblayney in the Ulster championship in 2001 and took charge of Armagh later that year, winning the Sam Maguire in his first year in charge.

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