In The Irish News, Aug 15 1997: Sean McGuinness turns down Antrim senior hurling job

Steve Collins celebrates after retaining his WBO super-middleweight title against Cornelius Carr in Dublin on November 25 1995

SEAN McGuinness has turned down the Antrim senior hurling management job.

Following a three-hour meeting with Antrim hurling chairman Frank Smyth, the people’s favourite said he would not be happy as senior hurling boss.

Instead McGuinness wants to remain Antrim U21 manager and develop minor and U21s into senior hurlers for the Saffron county.

The former Antrim and Down boss has drawn up what he believes is a progression plan for hurling in the Saffron county and is hopeful the Antrim board will ratify his ambitions.

Now John Crossey, a county hurling and UUJ camogie coach, is favourite to land the post.

Frank Smyth reluctantly accepted McGuinness’s withdrawal of interest for the vacant post.

“Frank Smyth came to ask if I would be putting my name forward as a candidate for the Antrim job and I have said no,” said McGuinness.

“I feel that I would not be happy as senior manager just now because I got satisfaction from managing the U21 side and I feel that the future of Antrim hurling must be grasped right now.”

“Some people may be unhappy with my decision but I believe I am in a better position to take on the talents of our U21s and minors and make sure they develop for the future and not get lost in that gap between minor and senior grades.

“Frank and I had a long discussion about what is good for Antrim hurling and I hope now the county board will ratify my plans.

“I aim to take two to three years to get the best players around to become part of our senior panel.

“Whoever the new man in charge is, he will have 100 per cent support from me.”

STEVE Collins yesterday walked out on his fight with Joe Calzaghe and into a dispute with promoter Frank Warren.

A grim-faced Collins turned up at a planned headto-head meeting with Calzaghe at London’s Cafe de Paris nightclub, said a few well-chosen words and took his leave,

circulating a statement issued through his PR guru, Max Clifford.

Warren and Calzaghe looked surprised to say the least to see Collins disappearing into the traffic and tourists of Leicester Square.

Warren was planning to stage the WBO super-iddleweight fight at the 2,000-capacity Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes on September 6, but the champion said later: “It’s impossible.”

Now the 33-year-old Irishman intends to meet up with Warren to resolve the matter.

Warren insists that Collins was contracted to fight on July 5 – which he did against America’s Craig Cummings – and on September 6.

But Collins counters that his contract with Warren, which expires next month, catered for an option fight which he did not have to take.

Collins said: “I haven’t discussed money and I wouldn’t be ready to fight until the end of October.

“This fight doesn’t appeal to me. Calzaghe is a very good fighter, but he doesn’t bring a reputation or a title, and that’s no disrespect to him.

“There’s no money in it. People haven’t heard of Calzaghe. I’d go in there with a low battery.

“And a 2,000 arena? I get more than that at my weigh-ins.”

MICKEY Moran earned a unanimous vote of confidence by Sligo’s County Board this week to continue as their senior football team manager for another 12 months.

Moran, who steered Sligo to this season’s Connacht SFC final where they failed to unseat champions Mayo by a single point, was re-appointed by the board on Wednesday night

DARREN Clarke failed to take advantage of some early benign conditions by firing a birdieless 74 in the opening round of his USPGA Championship debut at Winged Foot yesterday.

Clarke, joint runner-up in last month’s British Open, saw little consolation in the fact that his 74 was a stroke better than his out of sorts playing partner Nick Faldo.

“The course today was as benign as we are going to get it,” said the Irishman.

“I didn’t have a single birdie today. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Not for a long time.

“I didn’t hit the ball very well and missed too many fairways.”

Fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington, who teed off late yesterday evening, was also struggling at three over after eight holes.

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