The next 48 hours will determine if yet another Ulster county is to be left without a manager.
A meeting of the Monaghan county board is scheduled for Monday at which it is anticipated that Seamus McEnaney will let it be known if he is to continue as football team boss for what would be a seventh year.
Since his team’s expulsion from the All Ireland qualifiers at the hands of Kildare, McEnaney has given no firm indication as to his future plans. The Corduff clubman took over their reins prior to the start of the 2005 season and since, although he has undoubtedly enhanced the image of his county, he has been unable to mastermind a provincial or All Ireland title to date.
While Monaghan have retained their place in Division One of the National League, the lack of Championship success has caused a lot of frustration within the county.
McEnaney (pictured) was rocked by his team’s anaemic showing against Tyrone in the Ulster final last month — their worst performance for some considerable time. They had beaten the Red Hands in the National League earlier in the year, but were found wanting in the white heat of the Championship.
McEnaney said after his team’s Ulster shocker: “That was an entirely unacceptable performance and I am terribly disappointed. It’s the worst from any Monaghan side for a long time.”
And while the team showed an improvement before eventually going under to Kildare in their next outing just six days later, two defeats within a week clearly deflated the normally ebullient McEnaney who has not spared himself since taking on the job.
Former Armagh No. 2 Paul Grimley, who left his post as assistant to Kieran McGeeney in Kildare last year, has been serving as No. 2 to McEnaney lately while Tyrone man Martin McElkennon is team trainer.
Should McEnaney make it known on Monday that he will not be continuing, then all three will be standing down. Monaghan chairman Paul Curran, in his first year in the hot seat, has confirmed that should this prove the case then the county board will immediately seek nominations from clubs for the post of manager.
“Seamus McEnaney has devoted himself selflessly to the cause of Monaghan football and he will respect whatever decision he arrives at in relation to his future,” says Curran.