GAA Football

Vinny Corey will get the very best out of the best players in Monaghan, says Seamus McEnaney

Vinny Corey (left) and Seamus McEnaney (right) before Monaghan face Tyrone in last year's Ulster final. Pic Philip Walsh.
Andy Watters

VINNY Corey will get the very best out of the best players in Monaghan, says his predecessor as Farney county manager Seamus McEnaney.

Corey took over the reins from ‘Banty' at the end of last season and McEnaney, whose second spell as manager of his native county included an Ulster final appearance in 2021 and the hard-earned retention of Monaghan's Division One status over three testing seasons, is confident his former assistant-manager will carry on the good work.

After speculation that Dubliner Jason Sherlock and Armagh native Oisin McConville would succeed McEnaney, Corey was promoted from the backroom team. McEnaney says the affable Clontibret clubman is “a very popular choice” in the county.

“There's a good group of players in there and he's very popular with them and he is there for all the right reasons,” said McEnaney.

“He'll get the best out of the boys that are available to Monaghan – there's no doubt in my mind about that.

“I was talking to him recently and I told him I'm looking forward to sitting in the stand, putting back the recliner, and having my views on him when the games are over. I'm sure they'll be positive.”

Monaghan won the Dr McKenna Cup last season and clung on to their Division One status thanks to a grandstand finish in their final fixture against Dublin at Clones. A late goal from Jack McCarron meant Monaghan snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in injury-time and the Dubs were relegated instead.

In the Ulster Championship, Monaghan coasted to victory against Down, then came up short against eventual champions Derry and exited the competition after losing to Mayo in the first round of Qualifiers.

Since then there has been the now annual speculation over the futures of a number of the veterans who have given yeoman service to the county for a decade or more. No-one is writing the likes of Conor McManus, Darren and Kieran Hughes and Drew Wylie off but they can't carry on forever and the concern is that they could all bow out around the same time and the county will then struggle as new players are brought through.

However, younger players such as Micheal Bannigan, Andrew Woods, Niall Kearns, Conor McCarthy and Gary Mohan are all established inter-county operators now. At underage level, Monaghan were heavily beaten by Cavan in the Ulster U20 Championship last year but did reach the final the previous season. At minor, Monaghan lost to Antrim in the Ulster championship last season but did bounce back to beat Armagh and Down in the Qualifiers before bowing out against Donegal.

McEnaney – who will lead Corduff into Saturday's rescheduled Ulster Intermediate Football Championship final against Tyrone's Galbally - is confident that Monaghan's experienced old guard will continue under Corey.

He says the best players in Monaghan will answer the county call and that Corey will get full commitment from them.

“We're listening to that (key players retiring) this 10 years,” said McEnaney.

“We're talking about all these boys being finished for years now and there's none of them finished. They're on the road a long time but it's only 18 months ago that we got to the Ulster final and lost by a point against the team that won the All-Ireland (Tyrone).

“The great thing about managing Monaghan – and Vinny would agree with this – is that you're getting the best players in the county playing and Vinny will get the best out of them. You can't ask for any more than that.”

GAA Football