By Niall McCoy
FORMER Oriel county coach Paul Grimley believes that Seamus McEnaney is the perfect candidate to freshen up the Monaghan squad ahead of the 2020 season.
McEnaney, who previously managed the county between 2004 and 2010, was appointed as Malachy O’Rourke’s successor earlier this week and Grimley feels that his work in the years since has put him in an enviable position.
“Not only does he have a passion for Monaghan but he has a great passion for football in general,” said Grimley, who worked with ‘Banty’ at both Monaghan and Meath.
“I always thought that when Malachy O’Rourke stepped aside that ‘Banty’ would be a main contender
“It’s probably the best decision both for himself and Monaghan because he knows a lot about the current squad obviously, but also about the minors, who did so well, and u-20s having managed them in recent years.
“He has the insight into those teams and I would imagine they bought into him. That would have weighed heavily on the decision of the Monaghan County Board.”
Having worked so closely with McEnaney in the past, Grimley knows all about his approach – but he feels that the impact of managers like Jim Gavin and Jim McGuinness in recent years may lead to a less hands-on style.
“He has such a brilliant backroom team and it’s a huge positive to get Peter Donnelly.
“Conor Laverty is another great addition and I’ve heard great things about him. David McCague is a guy he obviously knows very well to. All the reports about the backroom team are very positive.
“The thing about the ‘Banty’ is that he has the availability to evolve and bring people in who can do great things.
“A lot of managers wouldn’t go too far wrong if they listened to Jim Gavin, the way he speaks about the Dublin set-up and him being more or less a facilitator.
“I think ‘Banty’ is doing that as well and the humbleness and modesty of Gavin could be rubbing off on a lot of managers. How he looks at things is very refreshing.
“The sign of a good manager is someone who realises that he has a lot of boxes to tick and ticks them off by getting good people in to fulfill the expectations of the players.”
As exclusively revealed by Gaelic Life, McEnaney was nominated for the role along with Tony McEntee and Mattie McGleenan.
McEntee in particular would have been another popular choice but Grimley has backed his former colleague to win over anyone who would have favoured the Crossmaglen man.
“In any walk of life, and especially in football management, you’re always going to have people who are negative towards you, you are always going to have doubters. You will always have people who are working against you.
“That’s just part and parcel of the position that you’re in. The process the county board took, I’m assuming it was very thorough and he came out on top.”