6 New Gaelic Football Managers ahead of the Allianz Football League
As the pre-season tournaments are in flow, I have decided to tell our viewers at Sportstalk.ie the 6 new managers that will be on the sidelines this year for their counties league and championship campaigns. After a lot of talk over the autumn and winter months there has been notable moves and some unexpected appointments. However, now that all the inter-county positions have been filled it’s time to look ahead. The new managers are in counties Meath, Wexford, Leitrim, Cavan, Laois and Limerick.
- Andy McEntee (Meath) – The 2016 All-Ireland winning club boss has said from the outset that his primary goal is to close the gap between Meath and Dublin in Leinster. He enjoyed a very successful spell in charge of Dublin side Ballyboden-St Enda’s winning the Dublin county title, the Leinster club title and the All-Ireland club title, before finishing off his tenure in charge with a county Division 1 league title in December. McEntee has wasted no time in getting stuck in to inter-county management and has already been trying out former full forward Joe Sheridan in the goal, while he has convinced former Dublin underage players Stuart Lowndes, Stephen O’Connor and Darragh Kelly to commit to the Royals for 2017. McEntee will also have the returning Padraic Harnan in his squad after he was on work placement in New Zealand last year.
- Seamus McEnaney (Wexford) – The man known as ‘Banty’ is back in inter-county management after a 4 year absence when his time as manager of Meath ended. No one seen this coming to be fair and it certainly was one of the most interesting appointments over the off-season. In the past the Castleblayney man has managed his native Monaghan, while he has also been involved over the last few years with the Ulster interprovincial side and Monaghan ladies GAA team. McEnaney will be looking for Wexford to get promoted from Division 4, before they face a trip to Carlow in the championship, a win there for them would set up a game with All-Ireland champions Dublin at Wexford Park.
- Benny Guckian (Leitrim) – Benny Guckian takes over from Shane Ward after his two year spell in charge came to an end. In addition, 1994 All-Ireland winning manager John O’Mahony comes on board in an advisory capacity to Guckian. Guckian has inter-county management experience and was in charge of the Leitrim U-21 side in the past. Leitrim will be in Division 4 and will be looking for an improvement on last season. They will play London on the 28th of May in the Connacht championship, with the winners of that game playing Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final.
- Mattie McGleenan (Cavan) – McGleenan will be in his rookie season in inter-county management. However, he has earned the right to progress up the ladder to inter-county management due to his success in the club game in recent years. McGleenan a former Tyrone forward, enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Monaghan kingpins Scotstown. In the last four years, McGleenan guided the club to 3 county titles and when you think that Scotstown didn’t win a county title 20 years before the arrival of McGleenan is just shows how good he actually is. McGleenan won Ulster titles with Tyrone in 1995 and 1996 and he will be looking for further success in 2017 with a Cavan side that will be playing in Division 1.
- Peter Creedon (Laois) – Peter Creedon (below), managed Tipperary from 2012-2015 and he takes over from Mick Lillis for the coming year. Creedon takes over on a two year term, becoming the county’s 5th manager since 2009. Creedon will also take charge of the Laois U-21 footballers. His side will begin the National League playing out of Division 3 having been relegated last year from Division 2 after some poor performances.
- Billy Lee (Limerick) – A strange appointment this to be fair. Lee was in fact a member of the six man committee tasked on finding a new manager for the 2017 season. He missed the first meeting due to a break away with his family and by the time he came back from the holiday his name was put forward by the committee to take up the role. Lee, who was handed a two year term has managed the county U-21 footballers in the past as well as been a selector under Liam Kearns between 1999 -2005. Lee has said that he and his side will be targeting promotion from Division 4 of the Allianz League, while also aiming to achieve a first victory in the Munster Senior Football Championship since 2002.