Hurling and camogie

Back in the day: in The Irish News on Feb 1 1997: Belfastman Frank Dawson named as Down senior hurling manager

Frank Dawson was named as Down senior hurling manager 20 years ago.

BELFASTMAN Frank Dawson has been confirmed as the new Down hurling manager. The St Gall’s clubman was appointed at a meeting of the Down county board on Thursday night.

Down secretary Brian McAvoy said yesterday that the Mourne county board has sought Dawson’s services. It is understood the persuasive powers of recently-elected Down chairman Kevin Bell were crucial in Dawson’s decision to take the post.

The Down county board have been on the lookout for a team boss for more than 18 months. Down GAA chiefs effectively drew a blank in their efforts to secure a successor to Sean McGuinness after the Sarsfield’s clubman stood down in August 1995.

Since then, the Down Board have been forced to rely on a three-man management structure drawn from the three senior hurling clubs in the Ards peninsula. Those involved in the past 18 months included Gerard Lennon, Paul McMullan, Paddy Braniff, Hugh Gilmore, Gerard Coulter, Sean Fitzsimmons and John Mallon. It is thought Gerard Coulter may be persuaded to stay on as part of Frank Dawson’s backroom team.

A Down hurler, who didn’t wish to be named, last week expressed concern that the county’s training preparations for the National League haven’t yet begun. It was also an open secret last year that Down’s preparations for last year’s Ulster final were far from the norm.

Dawson is regarded as something of a fitness fanatic and his undoubted motivational qualities will also be much-needed as Down attempt to escape from Division Three of the NHL after two successive relegations.

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HIS number has finally been called at Solitude. After six months of daily homesickness [at Leicester City] and a spell in the Cliftonville waiting room, the young man they call ‘Bingo’, has cashed in on his chance to become first team material.

Damien Davey, is being talked about and the words are all positive. He has emerged as a reliable and confident centre-half. A timely introduction too is Davey, as manager Marty Quinn was to begin his search for a long term replacement for veteran defender Marty Tabb.

Cliftonville managers in the past have often been guilty of not looking under their noses for home grown talent. Today Marty Quinn enlists Damien Davey in his squad with another young name, Jody Toland, a 19-year-old Ardoyne-born striker destined for big happenings in a Cliftonville shirt.

Davey commented: “I’m glad I left England, I hated it. I am a homer and I love living here. I was born on the Falls Road and I don’t like to leave it. I got very homesick when I was at Leicester and if I was asked to go back tomorrow I’d say no. I’m enjoying my spell in the Cliftonville team.

“I got the chance when Joe Kerr and James McDonagh got injured and Marty (Quinn) has kept me in the team,”

said Davey. “I’m still getting used to the Premier League and in every game the older players are telling me what to do and what not to do. I get nervous before every game, my bangers just go.”

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CARRICKMORE manager Mickey Moran has asked us to point out that he attended the recent Tyrone GAC meeting called to investigate incidents in the Errigal Ciaran-Carrickmore game voluntarily as a representative of the club.

Mr Moran also said he wished to make it clear that he was not named in the referee’s report or that none of his actions came under investigation.

Carrickmore look certain to launch appeals against the heavy suspensions imposed on the club earlier this week.

However, suggestions that the Carrickmore players on the county football panel were poised to sensationally pull out of Danny Ball’s Tyrone squad appear to be unfounded. Ciaran Loughran and Brian Gormley will line out against Kerry in tomorrow’s National League game in Killarney.

With Davitt McElroy and Plunkett McCallan now serving long suspensions, Carrickmore’s other panelists include Seamus McCallan and Ronan McGarrity.

Eleven Carrickmore players were handed bans ranging from three months to two years while the club has also been banned from league football for 12 months.

However, it has been confirmed that Carrickmore will retain their division one status when they return to Tyrone league football in 1998.

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Hurling and camogie