Football

Karl Lacey casts doubt on Kilcoo future after Ulster exit

Donegal All-ireland winner Karl Lacey took over the Kilcoo reins from Conleith Gilligan and Richie Thornton. Picture by Seamus Loughran
Donegal All-ireland winner Karl Lacey took over the Kilcoo reins from Conleith Gilligan and Richie Thornton. Picture by Seamus Loughran Donegal All-ireland winner Karl Lacey took over the Kilcoo reins from Conleith Gilligan and Richie Thornton. Picture by Seamus Loughran

KARL Lacey admits he is unsure what his future holds in Kilcoo, after the Magpies exited the Ulster Championship at the hands of Scotstown on Sunday.

The Down champions had looked in control heading towards the last, leading by four with 14 minutes left, only for a spirited An Bhoth to bag five of the last six points – goalkeeper Rory Beggan’s brilliant free from the sideline sealing a dramatic victory.

Lacey helped bring through young players like Callum Rogers and Jack Devlin as Kilcoo claimed an 11th Down title in 12 years. However, their dreams of returning to the summit in Ulster fell short, with Scotstown looking ahead to a provincial semi-final showdown with Tyrone champions Trillick.

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And the Four Masters clubman - an All-Ireland winner with Donegal in 2012 - said it remains to be seen whether he will return, having taken over the reins from Conleith Gilligan and Richie Thornton.

“Listen, I suppose there’s different people involved in that conversation - it’s not my decision.

“All I can at this moment in time is they’re an unbelievable bunch, it’s an unbelievable club, a very special club, they’ve looked after me really well, friendships and relationships built, boys that you’ll be friends with for the rest of your life.

“They’ll always be a club that’s close to my heart in terms of the way they’ve welcomed me in, I’ve really enjoyed my time there and enjoyed working with the talent that’s there... listen, I don’t know what the future’s going to hold.”

It will be a long winter in Kilcoo as they mull over how best to bounce back from this disappointment, and Lacey admitted the way the Scotstown game went showed how small the margins were at the top of the club game.

“That’s the way it goes at this level,” he said.

“Every little decision you make, your skills, your hand-passing, your first touch, everything has to be nailed on. At four points, you do have to kick on and keep increasing the gap.

“We never got that opportunity in the game, that’s credit to Scotstown, they kept at it, kept chasing and started to put us on the back foot again.”