Wrong Down appointment will mean retirements – Hughes
WHATEVER unfolds in Down in the coming days and weeks as regards the composition of their senior county management for 2013, All-Star attacker Danny Hughes has urged the county board to ensure that the correct calls are made to ensure the right men end up in the right positions.
Hughes was speaking at the Ulster Bank GAA Force Roadshow event, where he took part in a championship discussion alongside Tyrone legend Peter Canavan and Sunday Game pundit Pat Spillane.
James McCartan has yet to confirm his intentions for the coming season, although the All-Ireland winner is expected to remain at the helm. What is less clear is whether or not he will be looking for a new number two should Aidan O’Rourke move elsewhere.
There is a growing expectation that O’Rourke will take over the managerial reins in Monaghan, alongside his long-term managerial partner at QUB, Bernie Murray.
Should that prove to be the case, then it leaves McCartan again seeking a new back room team, the third in as many seasons with O’Rourke having taken over from Brian McIver and Paddy Tally for the 2012 campaign.
Hughes admits that the uncertainty is not exactly ideal preparation as thoughts turn towards next season, and sounds a warning that the county could lose the services of many of their most seasoned campaigners after just one more season if another year of mediocrity and disappointment is to come in 2013.
“It’s crunch time, and this appointment is going to make or break the older heads on the squad. If we don’t get it right this year, and don’t get back to a situation where we’re extremely competitive at least at quarter-final stage in National League and All-Ireland championship, then I would be surprised if there were too many of those older players available beyond next season.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday September 6. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here