Cavan's Minors endured a truncated season with only one league game before a knock-out championship due to Covid.

Smith heads up new Cavan minor management team

Damien Donohoe

Cavan County Board last Wednesday night ratified a new Cavan minor football management team for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Former Cavan and Mullahoran player Seanie Smith will take hold of the reins for a two year spell with an option for a third year after a review at the end of year two.

As a player Seanie captained Mullahoran to a senior championship in 2006 in their fourth final in a row, which ended Cavan Gaels strangle hold on the championship - they were chasing four wins in a row. He was also part of the Mullahoran team that lifted the senior championship in 2012. In 2001 he joined the Cavan senior panel under Val Andrews and remained a part of the squad until the end of the 2004 season under Eamon Coleman.

In 2018 Seanie took the hot seat as manager in Mullahoran after they had suffered a double relegation the year before. In a season that saw Mullahoran defeated twice he guided them to a division 2 league title, the intermediate championship title and brought them to the Ulster intermediate championship final where they lost to Naomh Eanna from Antrim.

Since he finished up with Mullahoran seniors he has been busy coaching underage teams in the club.

Along the line with Seanie will be Barry McGahan from Cootehill Celtic, Ballinagh's Niall McDermott and Ramor's Liam Brady.

“All of us have been involved at development squad level supporting the games development officers (GDO’s) in Cavan over the last couple of months,” explained Seanie of how his management team came together.

Barry McGahan was still holding down the full back position on the Cootehill senior team until this year and has been heavily involved in the resurgence of the Celtics at under age level. This year Barry lead his club under 17 team to a league division 3 title and narrowly lost out to Ballyhaise in the division 2 championship final after a replay.

Former county forward Niall McDermott was involved with the county minor team this year in a coaching role and is a teacher in Virginia College. The left footed former county senior lined out for Cavan senior team 71 times and won an Ulster Under 21 championship with Cavan in 2011.

Taking up the role as goalkeeper coach is current Ramor Utd number one Liam Brady, who recently won his second senior championship medal. A former county minor and under 20’s goalkeeper, Liam was part of the Cavan senior squad that brought home The Anglo-Celt Cup in 2020. He is involved with the Ramor Utd minors this year, so like Barry has a good working knowledge of the players around the county.

When asked what attracted him to the role Seanie said: “I loved the management and the coaching end of things at club level and I seen this as an opportunity to get involved at county level. Hopefully I can support the development of players at inter-county level.

“My focus will be about creating that safe environment at county level for lads to come in to prepare and perform. Hopefully by doing that it will lead to these guys getting some sort of results. We all know if the environment is not good, we don’t get the opportunity to perform well, it means the results won’t come our way. I feel there is a lot of great work going on at development squad level from what I’ve seen over the last few weeks and months so I’m certainly looking forward to taking on the challenge over the next year or two and hope I can add some value.”

After two years of a straight knock out championship and only one league game before Covid, it would be hoped that the 2022 season will return to the pre-Covid structure.