GAA Football

Paddy Tally is new Down boss

Paddy Tally with Down manager James McCartan (left) and Brian McIvor during the Mournemen's successful 2010 campaign

BRIAN McIver has said that Down are making “a fantastic move” in appointing Paddy Tally as their new manager.

Tally was set to be confirmed as Eamonn Burns’s replacement late last night with Benny Coulter, Gavin McGilly and Stephen Beattie set to form the bulk of his backroom team.

The Galbally native was head-hunted by Galway manager Kevin Walsh for the 2018 season and helped the Tribesmen to the Connacht title and an All-Ireland semi-final appearance. He will now leave that role to take on his first inter-county managerial position.

There are few better placed than McIver to comment on Tally’s appointment with the pair working together with both Down and Derry.

“They’re getting a top class manager,” said McIver.

“I know this is the first time that he has managed at county level but he has been with St Mary’s for years and has really done a superb job.

“Winning the Sigerson (2017) was just reward for all the effort he has put in over the last few years.

“He was involved with Tyrone when they won that first All-Ireland in 2003 and he was involved with Down when they got to the All-Ireland final in 2010.

“He had three years with myself at Derry and as far as I see it, it’s a fantastic move for Down.”

McIver also said that the inclusion of Coulter in the backroom team was a clever move.

The 2010 Allstar is currently managing his home club Mayobridge and is likely to continue in that role until their season finishes.

“Benny was involved in 2010 and 2011 when Paddy was there originally,” said McIver.

“Obviously they know each other really well and Benny would have great respect from the players in Down.”

It’s not surprising that Tally has taken McGilly and Beattie on board as they were involved in that famous Sigerson success last season.

McGilly has enjoyed further success since and guided Moy, along with Audi Kelly, to the All-Ireland Intermediate Club title back in February.

Beattie has worked with a number of clubs in Tyrone and helped guide Eskra to the Ulster Intermediate final in 2013.

Speculation had been rife with a number of candidates linked to the position since Burns departed in June.

Steven Poacher and Shane Mulholland publically expressed their desire to be considered as joint managers while Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney was also understood to be interested. Frank Dawson, Gearoid Adams and Conor Deegan were other names mentioned.

When later withdrawing from the race, Poacher said that Tally was the man for the job.

“I’d love to see Paddy get it,” said Poacher.

“I think he’s tailor made for it. He’s got that energy, he’s strong-minded and won’t let himself be influenced by administrators, and he’ll bring his own men with him, which is vitally important.

“Down have had this thing fired at them about ‘the Down way’ of playing, but there has been no Down way for over 20 years now. We have had no defined way of playing.

“Paddy will bring that structure and that element of everyone knowing their roles to the game, which is important.”

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