Football

Down have gone backwards under McCartan: Mooney

Caolan Mooney in action against Monaghan in this year's Ulster Championship. Picture by Philip Walsh
Caolan Mooney in action against Monaghan in this year's Ulster Championship. Picture by Philip Walsh Caolan Mooney in action against Monaghan in this year's Ulster Championship. Picture by Philip Walsh

CAOLAN Mooney has lashed out at Down manager James McCartan, saying the county has “went backwards” under him and added that he’s unlikely to ever play inter-county football again.

Speaking to Colm Parkinson’s Smaller Fish podcast, released yesterday, Mooney lambasted the setup under McCartan and said he had left the panel prior to the Tailteann Cup over a dispute at not being allowed to play in a club game.

The RGU Downpatrick player also outlined his version of events from the breach of discipline in Dublin that led to McCartan having to be talked into staying on as manager just weeks before championship.

Asked about the Down boss’s man-management skills, Mooney said: “James is James. He says what he needs to. But if you’re going off what Paddy Tally’s man-management skills were like compared to James McCartan, it’s night and day.

“I suppose it was a pretty disjointed year. He did come in late. People can respect him for that but if you look back at that year as the manager, we didn’t progress in any way, shape or form.

“If anything, I think we’ve went backwards.

“I’ll probably never play for Down again, coming back from this injury and things that went on this last few years is enough to see me just play for the club.”

Mooney also said that the standard of training in the Down setup this year “weren’t anywhere near the level they should be to play inter-county football”.

The 30-year-old is currently rehabbing from a torn cruciate knee ligament but revealed he has put surgery off until August, meaning he’s unlikely to play for Down in 2023 regardless of who is managing.

“If James stays on I’ll wish him all the best, I’ll still be a Down supporter, I’ll just not be a Down player,” he said.