Karl Lacey to stay with Kilcoo for 2024 season

Karl Lacey guided Kilcoo to the Down title and the Ulster quarter-final
Karl Lacey guided Kilcoo to the Down title and the Ulster quarter-final

KILCOO manager Karl Lacey is to remain at the Magpies’ helm next season. The 2012 All-Ireland winner had been linked with a role in Jim McGuinness’s backroom team in his native Donegal but the Down champions have confirmed that he is to stay in the Mournes for another season.

“Eoghan Rua Cill Chua are delighted to announce that manager Karl Lacey and his backroom team will look after our senior side in 2024,” read a statement from the club.

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Lacey guided the 2021 All-Ireland Club champions to the Down senior title this season and then past Fermanagh’s Derrygonnelly in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship.

But his in-form team were pipped at the post by Monaghan’s Scotstown at the provincial quarter-final stage when they lost a thriller by a point at Pairc Esler, Newry.

Lacey had taken over from Conleith Gilligan and Richie Thornton at the start of last season but, in the wake of the defeat, he appeared unsure of his future.

“There’s different people involved in that conversation - it is not my decision,” Lacey said after the loss.

“All I can say at this moment in time is they are an unbelievable bunch, it is an unbelievable club. It is a very special club.

“They’ve looked after me really well. There’s friendships and relationships built there for life. It will always be a club that’s close to my heart now in terms of the way they’ve welcomed me in.

“I really enjoyed my time there and I enjoyed working with the talent that’s there. I don’t know what the future is going to hold.”

What issues there were have obviously been sorted out and Lacey will lead his second Kilcoo campaign next year.