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New Down boss urged to unearth talented starlets

By John Campbell

The Down board has still to name a successor to James McCartan as county team manager but already a number of club officials are urging the new incumbent to spread his selection net wide in the quest for fresh talent.

Indeed, there is also a marked desire to see players who have been involved with the county in the past, but who may have departed from the squad for one reason or another, brought back on board.

Such a yearning is being highlighted as the current domestic championship unfolds, the quarter-final draw having thrown up some particularly alluring contests.

Clonduff duo Arthur McConville and Jason Brown scored 2-10 between them when their team humbled Ballyholland by 3-17 to 1-4 on Sunday while Danny Savage is very much on fire in the Bryansford attack, which will certainly need to operate on all cylinders against Mayobridge in the last eight.

And the return of the powerfully-built Kalum King is proving a timely bonus for Bryansford boss Frank Dawson.

King was an ever-present at midfield in the Down side up until a few months ago and it remains to be seen if a new county boss can rekindle his appetite for a return to top-flight football.

While fresh blood is undoubtedly required within the county squad, whoever takes over the manager's role – and Jim McCorry remains the front runner – will certainly derive considerable comfort from the current club form of Donal O'Hare, Conor Laverty, Paul McComiskey, Aidan Carr, Kevin McKernan and Conor Garvey.

One club official explains: "There is plenty of talent in Down and the task for the new manager will be to harness it in the best possible way. To be fair to James McCartan he had big headaches with injuries and unavailability for other reasons and that did not help him."

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