Paddy Tally steps into breach as new Down football boss
Paddy Tally is the new Down football team manager, following on from Eamonn Burns.
The Galbally man, who trained the Tyrone team which brought a first All-Ireland title to the O'Neill County in 2003, has recently been part of Kevin Walsh's Galway management team and has been credited with helping the side reach this year's All-Ireland semi-finals, in which they were beaten by Dublin having earlier lost to Monaghan in their last Super 8s game.
Now he is set to assume a demanding role in striving to restore Down's fortunes but does so boosted by the knowledge he gained while part of James McCartan's Mourne County management team.
Tally also masterminded St Mary's University College's stunning success in the Sigerson Cup competition in 2017, which was their first coup at that level in 29 years.
Tally's expertise in the sphere of physical fitness, tactical awareness and motivational skills will certainly be required in abundance in his new role.
Down suffered relegation to Division Three of the league earlier this year following a depressing campaign in Division Two which saw them lose crucial home games to Cork and Clare.
The county has not taken delivery of the Ulster title since 1994 when Peter McGrath was at the helm. He oversaw their recapture of the Sam Maguire Cup that year also, having successfully plotted their earlier All-Ireland coup in 1991.
While Tally steps into the Mourne breach at a time when the side is enduring an ongoing lack of success, he can take heart from the fact that they reached the Ulster final last year only to be beaten by Tyrone and have unearthed some quality players over the course of the past 18 months including Joe Murphy, Aaron Morgan, Shay Millar, Colm Flanagan and Ronan Millar.
Tally's challenge will be to unearth more new talent in order to complement existing resources.