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PJ O'Mullan eager to restore Loughgiel Shamrocks' pride

By Declan Bogue

PJ O'Mullan junior has pledged to take Loughgiel Shamrocks back to the top after resuming the management of the 2012 club All-Ireland winners.

After stepping down in the wake of defeat to Carlow side Mount Leinster Rangers in February of last year, Loughgiel promoted Joe McGurk from the coaching staff while O'Mullan took time off to get complete reconstructive surgery on his right ankle.

However, Loughgiel subsequently lost their Antrim and Ulster titles, missing a number of influential players such as Liam Watson as Ruairi Óg Cushendall dumped them out of this year's Volunteer Cup.

Interviews were conducted on Monday evening by the club committee, and O'Mullan was appointed as manager for the 2015 season.

"I was given another year," O'Mullan confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday.

O'Mullan revealed that there will be a few tweaks and additions to his coaching staff. Clare man Paul Talty, who works in the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland, will come in and oversee their strength and conditioning work, while running coach Mark Carey will also be involved in their fitness training.

Some other familiar names will also be involved in O'Mullan's backroom, including Dominic Casey, Niall Gillen, Terence O'Mullan, Gavin Duffy and a welcome return for coaching guru, Jim Nelson.

O'Mullan illustrated the hectic schedule the Shamrocks had in recent years when he said: "We started training in February 2010 and apart from four weeks off after an Ulster campaign, we had no break until September 1, 2014.

"It was four and a half years on the road without a break and a lot of those years we were together into February and March as part of the All-Ireland series.

"I was tired and the players were tired and to be honest I had more or less said my goodbyes.

"But then after a few interventions here and there, I thought about it personally and a couple of players asked me if I would come back, and then a few supporters asked me and other people asked me.

"I let my name go forward again and that's how the whole thing came about.

"The players are the most important people and I would say a lot of our players are hurting from the way we exited the Championship this year. We will just get back and the bit will be between our teeth. We will work hard and see where it takes us," he explained.

"There's no doubt of the expectation from our own supporters, members and committee. The only expectation is to get back to the top of the club game and that's where we want to be."

Belfast Telegraph


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