GAA Football

The Irish News Archive: Sep 1, 1998: Eamonn Coleman will take to county board about possible Derry return

Eamonn Coleman, who led Derry to the 1993 All-Ireland title, was being linked with a return to the job in 1998
Neil Loughran

EAMONN Coleman said last night he will talk to the county officials, should Brian Mullins not be reappointed Derry manager.

Oak Leaf chairman Jim McKeever is believed to be holding a meeting with Mullins this week. It is expected the outcome of the discussion will leave the county board considering the future of its senior football management.

Mullins, before the shocking All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway two weeks ago, requested a meeting with the county board to discuss management. However such a meeting may now serve as a mere exit interview for the Dubliner.

The county’s supporters want Coleman to return and there has never been any question over his relationship with Derry’s senior footballers. Within 24 hours of the game against Galway, Coleman was media-listed as Mullins’ replacement.

The man who led Derry to their only All-Ireland win, in 1993, was astonishingly sacked one year later, was also linked with St Pat’s Maghera coach Adrian McGuckin, as part of a ‘dream team’ replacement for Mullins.

Eamon Coleman also hit-out at reports of his appearance in the Derry changing room at Croke Park after the dismal semi-final performance which brought an end to the Ulster champions’ interest in the All-Ireland series.

“I’m interested in talking. I will talk about the job,” said Coleman.

“I haven’t had any word from them (the county board) and I won’t be making any approach to any member of the county board. I won’t be nominating myself. If they come to me, I am happy to speak.

“I cannot understand why I was in the papers almost immediately after the Galway game. I hadn’t spoke with any one, certainly not any reporters. It was all pure speculation.”

Coleman’s presence in the Derry changing room following the game against Galway, he states, was merely to speak with his son, Derry defender, Gary.

“I went in to see Gary. He is my son after all and I am his father. I wanted to speak to him after the game, that’s all. I had no other reason or business in the changing room. It was not a problem, me going in there.

“Reporters can say what they want but I want it known that I went in there to speak to Gary and it was about 30 minutes after the game, not immediately afterwards.”

A GRUELLING 14-hour flight via London left yesterday with Northern Ireland’s medal prospects on board for this month’s XVI Commonwealth Games, which begin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 11.

Dick McColgan, chef de mission of the team, said that all of the 136 competitors were determined to achieve success at the championships.

“We want to get out there and show the rest of the Commonwealth what we are made of.”

Stephen Kirk’s shock omission due to medical grounds cast a cloud of disappointment over their departure from Belfast International.

IABA’s Ulster Council boxing officials still hope the former world-rated light-heavyweight will make the trip to assist their challenge for bronze, silver and gold.

FORMER Ajax and AC Milan star Frank Rijkaard was yesterday named as the new Holland coach.

Rijkaard replaces Guus Hiddink, who joined Spanish giant Real Madrid after guiding Holland to fourth place in the World Cup finals in France.

Rijkaard, 35, who was Hiddink’s assistant during the tournament, was a midfield star of the Dutch

team that won the 1988 European Championships and won 73 caps, scoring 10 goals.

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