Keeper Rory Beggan glad Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke is staying put
MONAGHAN 'keeper Rory Beggan has expressed his delight that Malachy O'Rourke decided to stay on as manager despite last summer's disastrous Championship exit to modest Longford.
After guiding Monaghan to two Ulster titles and three All-Ireland quarter-finals, O'Rourke considered walking away after their All-Ireland Round Two Qualifier of the All-Ireland series.
But two months later, O'Rourke committed to a fifth season with Monaghan.
“What Malachy has achieved with us over the last four years has been brilliant," said Beggan.
"For the couple of weeks after the Longford defeat we didn’t know whether he was going to stay on or not. But once the news eventually came that he was staying on it was relief for us.
“It wasn’t his fault the way we played last year against Longford. We were the ones that crossed the white line, we were the ones that made the wrong decisions but next year we’re going to be hungrier.
“I remember back in 2011 and 2012 we were being beaten by Offaly and Laois. The Longford was a tough defeat but we’ll have to learn from it.
"And it’s obviously a massive boost for us that Malachy is staying on because we want to prove people wrong next year and go further than we probably went in 2016.”
Beggan has been included in Monaghan's Dr McKenna Cup squad next month with a raft of new faces being given the chance to shine.
Aaron Lynch, Mikey Murnaghan, James Mealiff, Dessie Ward and 'keeper Conor Forde step up from the U21 grade in 2017 while Colleges' Allstar winner James Wilson, minor captain Michael Brannigan, Emyvale’s David McAllister and Latton’s Stephen McCabe will all get a chance in McKenna Cup games against Fermanagh, Antrim and St Mary's.
With the 'mark' being introduced in the McKenna Cup, Beggan suspects the new rule won't have any major impact on the game but wasn't averse to it.
“People want to try it and see if it’ll have any effect. I’m not sure it will have an effect at all but it’s worth trying out I suppose. We may as well try it out because there’s no point saying it will or it won’t work if we don’t try it.”