Seamus McEnaney’s decision to call time on his role as Monaghan team boss means that two Ulster counties are now on the hunt for new managers.
McEnaney’s departure follows that of Enda McGinley and Stephen O’Neill who stood down recently from their managerial post with Antrim.
McEnaney previously managed his native Monaghan from 2004 to 2010 and in his most recent stint at the helm steered the team into last year’s Ulster final in which they lost narrowly (0-16 to 0-15) to eventual All-Ireland champions Tyrone.
The Corduff clubman’s infectious enthusiasm for football and the fierce commitment he showed to his county were transmitted to his players but while the team has remained in Division One of the Allianz League for the past eight years, championship success has proved frustratingly elusive.
It was in the latter part of 2019 that McEnaney began his second stint in charge but the Covid-19 threat in 2020 disrupted his plans for taking the team forward.
It was under the baton of Malachy O’Rourke that Monaghan won Ulster titles in 2013 and 2015 and when the first of these was achieved, Fermanagh native O’Rourke was effusive in his praise for the work that McEnaney had done in helping to fashion the team he had inherited.
McEnaney’s departure comes hot on the heels of James Horan’s au revoir to Mayo with whom he served two terms as manager.
Mayo’s defeat to Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-finals last weekend undoubtedly hastened Horan’s departure and could see a whole new management team installed in a county that is desperately keen to end a 71-year All-Ireland title famine.
Meanwhile, there is still speculation in relation to James McCartan’s role with Down.
While it is understood that some players have left the panel, it is expected that dual All-Ireland winning player McCartan, who took the Mournemen to the All-Ireland final in 2010, when they were edged out by Cork (0-16 to 0-15), may serve another year at least.