Mickey Moran steps down as Slaughtneil manager after winning four Derry Championships and three Ulster titles
MICKEY Moran has called time on his trophy-filled rein as manager of Derry and Ulster champions Slaughtneil.
The Maghera native, who took over as manager along with John Joe Kearney in 2013, instilled a seemingly unquenchable thirst for success into a willing and talented group of players and took the Robert Emmet's club to four Derry championships, three ulster titles and two All-Ireland finals. He took the decision to walk away in the wake of Slaughtneil's loss to Cork and Munster champions after a titanic All-Ireland semi-final battle with Nemo Rangers on February 24. Assistant-manager Kearney has also stepped down.
“Little did we think when we started out four years ago that we would have had the success we've had,” Kearney admitted.
“In the last outing (against Nemo) there was a kick of the ball in it at the end of 60 minutes. I know we got well beaten in extra-time but we had one opportunity to seal it and that's the difference between winning and losing.
“It was a disappointing way for us to leave it because the ultimate aim was to win an All-Ireland. It didn't happen last year (Slaughtneil lost the final to Dr Croke's) and it didn't happen this year. It has been a long four years, but a very good four years. You can't ignore the success we had and it was great to be part of it but it's a lot of hard work and Mickey and myself are getting no younger either. It's a job for younger people.”
Slaughtneil (who had won in Derry just once before the Moran-Kearney era) equalled Bellaghy's long-standing four in-a-row championship record last year. Kearney admits it was tempting to stay on another year to try and break it.
“Mickey came into the club looking for a three-year tenure and his hope was that during those three years he would win a championship,” he said.
“To have had the success he's had – four in-a-row in Derry – is a great achievement. I know it would have been tempting to stay on for five in-a-row but we just thought it was time for somebody else to take up the cudgels and see how they got on.”