Frank Fitzsimons the only contender for Antrim football managerial post

Frank Fitzsimons is the only contender for the Antrim job
Frank Fitzsimons is the only contender for the Antrim job Frank Fitzsimons is the only contender for the Antrim job

AFTER opening up the senior football managerial post to nominations, the Antrim County Board could be back where they started.

Frank Fitzsimons, who shared the managerial reins with Gearoid Adams over the past two seasons, has been nominated by his club Lamh Dhearg to continue in the role.

Adams indicated that he would not go through a nominations process – on principle - to remain in the post.

It is understood contact was made with Pete McGrath about throwing his hat in the ring but it’s unlikely the double All-Ireland winning manager will be the next Antrim manager.

Former Antrim defender and current Coalisland manager John McKeever is also believed to have been nominated but is almost certain to remain with the Tyrone club after guiding them to their first senior final in six years in 2016 in his first season in charge.

Former St Gall’s manager Carl McCabe, who was involved with the county minors this year, has been mentioned among the possible contenders but the Omagh native has no interest in becoming Antrim’s next senior football manager.

It was anticipated the nominations would be revealed at last Monday night’s board meeting but this has been delayed until next Monday.

The county board might continue the managerial search this week - although August 14 was the cut-off point - but the only name they could be left with is the man that has held the managerial reins for the last few seasons: Frank Fitzsimons.

In an interview with The Irish News, Fitzsimons said: “Everybody knows the procedure and we’ve shown an interest and we’ll see what happens. If nobody puts their name forward, that would be more worrying, wouldn’t it?”

In Monday's Irish News, Antrim defender Declan Lynch insisted it would be a mistake to remove Fitzsimons and Adams from post given the poor state the senior squad was in at the beginning of the year.

“Personally, I’d like to see Frank and Gearoid stay on and I think that would be the same for the rest of the squad, but there needs to be a bigger investment in terms of resources being made available, whether that’s the county board or outside of that.”

Antrim suffered relegation to Division Four and lost to Donegal and Sligo in this year's Championship.