Clubs appoint managers for 2021 season

GAA news

While some uncertainty persists as to when competitive action will resume, local GAA clubs have wasted little time in confirming managers for the 2021 season.

Most of the leading senior clubs have confirmed their managers for the new season already. Former Cavan senior team manager Donal Keogan has returned to Castlerahan, whom he led to successive Senior Championship and ACFL Division 1 titles in 2018 and 2019.

Jimmy Higgins and Ray Cole will remain at the helm with home clubs Crosserlough and Ramor United respectively, with Tyrone native Kieran Donnelly continuing in charge of Cavan Gaels.

Last year’s beaten finalists Kingscourt Stars, meanwhile, will have a new man in the bainisteoir bib in the form of former Cavan star Finbar O’Reilly, who formerly managed home club Lacken and enjoyed huge success as a coach with St Patrick’s College as well as guiding Mullinalaghta to the semi-final of the Longford SFC, which has yet to be completed.

Former star attacker Danny Brady, who was in charge of Killygarry last year, takes the reins with home club Mullahoran, with Meath pair Jody Devine and Keelan Melaniff, who took Laragh to the intermediate crown in 2019, now taking over the Crubany club.

Monaghan’s Colin Malone, who had been linked with Kingscourt, is the new Lavey manager.

Adrian Maguire will continue on with his own club, Ballinagh, who return to senior ranks, while Michael O’Rourke also remains in the hot seat with neighbours Lacken.

Cuchulainns’ big move

At intermediate level, the big news is that former Cavan attacker Sean Johnston will be in charge of Cuchulainns, assisted by his Cavan Gaels clubmate Micheál Lyng. The Cross-Mullagh men have been knocking on the door at intermediate level for a number of years and with a nice blend of youth and experience, they will be hopeful of doing well.

Elsewhere at intermediate, Paul Hayes takes over home club Cootehill Celtic while Paddy Bates will remain with Killinkere and Declan Maguire takes over Drumlane. Mark Monaghan will manage Killeshandra with SFC medallist and Ballinagh clubman Declan Beard on the line for Cornafean and Fra McPhilips calling the shots with Belturbet.

There are a few changes at junior level. Gowna man Sean Pierson, who was over Drumalee last season, has moved on to Redhills with Ciaran O’Malley replacing him at St Felim’s Park.

Cavan attacking legend Larry Reilly is also continuing with his home club Knockbride, as is Tom O’Reilly with Shannon Gaels while Noel Fitzpatrick will manage Drung.

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