GAA Football

Back in the Day - McGuckin ready to quit - The Irish News, 1999

Former Down manager Bernie McNally (right) pictured at the Balmoral golf course
The Irish News Archives

DERRY football may soon have to wake up to the reality that its ‘dream team' is coming to an end after less than a year together.

Adrian McGuckin is understood to have decided that he will not continue as the Oak Leaf's joint manager which could prompt the other half of the duo, Eamonn Coleman, to step down too.

McGuckin was unavailable for comment last night, understood to be attending a reunion function for sixth formers at the school where he teaches, St Patrick's Maghera.

County chairman Jim McKeever admitted to being in the dark about the situation, having been unable to get in touch with either McGuckin or Coleman before last night's County Committee meeting at Derry's Owenbeg HQ.

If McGuckin does decide to go it might mean the end of the road for Coleman also, given that he lives outside the county and would not relish travelling regularly to shoulder the burden of coaching which had been borne by his managerial partner.

Last night was the first occasion when the management issue was on the agenda, although nominations from the clubs in Derry had been sought as normal after the Ulster Championship.

McGuckin and Coleman were involved in deep discussions with McKeever at last Thursday night's Irish News Ulster Allstars event – but it is believed that the amicable conversation was unable to persuade McGuckin to stay on.

McKeever revealed that an arrangement had been made for him to speak again to both Coleman and McGuckin before last night's meeting but this had not been achieved.

The county chairman said there had been no indication that McGuckin had decided against carrying on in the job: “There was something to clear up but it as not certain either way. It was a pretty open situation.”

No stepping up for the cup

THE GAA is breaking with tradition for Sunday's Guinness All-Ireland Hurling final at Croke Park.

Following the advice of safety authorities, they have decided that weather permitting, the presentation of the McCarthy Cup will take place on a podium in the centre of the pitch.

It means that team captains Denis Byrne of Kilkenny and Cork's Mark Landers won't get the chance to climb the steps of the Cusack Stand before being presented with the trophy as has been the custom in the past.

Fans at GAA headquarters have been banned from running onto the pitch after games since the Leinster Football Final and the Association are continuing with this policy for both Sunday's game and the football final in a fortnight's time.


Down manager McNally opts out

DOWN are seeking a new manager after Bernie McNally's tenure came to an end earlier this week.

McNally informed the Down county camogie board at a meeting on Wednesday night that she will definitely not be continuing in the post.

McNally is the longest serving and most successful manager in Ulster camogie. She took over in Down nine years ago next month and within a year had claimed the province's first AllIreland Junior title in 13 years.

In 1991 as well she coached the Queen's side to Ashbourne Cup success – the first Ulster team to win the title.

She also was involved with the Ulster team and took Down to four Ulster Senior titles, five Maguire Cup successes, the Junior National League and the All-Ireland Intermediate title.

Earlier this summer, Down became the first Ulster side in 20 years to win a game in the AllIreland Senior Championship, although they were heavily defeated by eventual champions Tipperary in the semi-final.

Work commitments and post-graduate studies are understood to be making severe demands on her time.

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