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McCartan hunts new backroom team to lift Down

By Cliona Foley

James McCartan looks set to stay on as Down football manager but with a revamped backroom.

His assistant manager Brian McIver and team coach Paddy Tally are not expected to be involved next year as McCartan is rejigging his backroom team after a disappointing summer.

The former county star led the Mourne men to last year's All-Ireland final and to promotion back into Division One of the Allianz League this season.

But they suffered a shock first-round exit to Armagh in Ulster, after beating Clare, Leitrim and Antrim, lost heavily to Cork in the final round of the qualifiers.

Tally was the fitness coach with Tyrone when they won their first All-Ireland in 2003 and was involved with Down before McCartan's arrival.

When McCartan took over he brought in McIver who had worked extensively with Tally at St Mary's College in Ulster football's highly competitive third-level scene.

But McCartan's backroom team is now expected to have a very new look for his third year in charge.

Elsewhere, John Brennan has been reappointed as Derry senior football boss for a second year.

Brennan, who succeeded Damian Cassidy last year, brought Derry to their first Ulster final in 11 years this summer where they lost to Donegal and they were subsequently beaten by Kildare in the last round of the Qualifiers.

Ger Rogan has also been reappointed as the county's senior hurling manager.

Meanwhile, consideration was never given to deploying a television match official (TMO) to provide back up to referees, the GAA's director of games development and research Pat Daly has admitted. The association's research and science committee were only asked to look at score detection and that brought them into contact with Hawk Eye.

The cost of rolling out the technology at all championship venues was much too prohibitive so a compromise was reached and referees in Croke Park will be able to resort to Hawk Eye when disputes are raised.

Daly said: “It's not as simple as just going out and finding a sponsor for this to make it cost neutral or even cost positive. There are obviously considerations with existing sponsors and procedural issues.”

Belfast Telegraph


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