GAA Football

Benny Coulter no longer part of Down management team as pair come on board

Benny Coulter has stepped away from the Down management team, while former team-mates Michael Walsh and Mark Doran have come onboard. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran

FORMER Down star Benny Coulter has stepped away from his role with the Mourne County, while two of his former team-mates have been brought on board by Paddy Tally.

Alongside Coulter, Michael Walsh and Mark Doran were both members of the Down minor side that swept to the 1999 All-Ireland title before progressing to the senior ranks.

They come into Tally’s backroom team alongside Gavin McGilly and Stephen Beattie.

Longstone man Doran has been over Castlewellan in recent years and brings with him a wide knowledge of the Down scene, while Walsh comes in as physio.
 
The Mayobridge man's football career was cut short by a series of injuries, eventually hanging up his boots in 2009 at the age of 27.
 
Since then he has managed his club, and was also one of 20 physios selected to work in the athletes' village at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
 
In more recent times Walsh has been involved with Conor Deegan’s Down U20s, so will also be well aware of the talent coming through in the county.

Coulter, a coaching development officer in the county, was drafted in by Tally after taking up the reins last year.

The Mayobridge ace was leading the line during Tally’s previous involvement with the Mourne County, having worked under Ross Carr in 2009 and James McCartan in 2010.

Looking ahead to next year, the Mournemen are under no illusions about the task that lies ahead in 2020 after the GAA’s Special Congress rubber-stamped a Tier Two Championship at the weekend.

Down missed out on promotion to Division Two on the final day of the National Football League this year, and the Championship restructure ensures it will be a race to the top for all the counties in Division Three.

Should Down fail to secure promotion this time around, they would have to reach an Ulster final to avoid dropping into next summer’s inaugural - and as yet unnamed - tier two competition.

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