Graham yet to be confirmed for 2023

GAA news

Cavan manager Mickey Graham has yet to confirm whether he wishes to remain on in the role but it is understood Cavan county board are confident he will remain in charge.

The board have received indications that the Cavan Gaels clubman, whose four-year term is up, is set to continue and had been keen to ratify the decision at the county board meeting on Monday, July 18.

With Martin Corey having stepped down as selector after four seasons, there will certainly be changes to the back room team should Graham decide to continue. Former selector Dermot McCabe stepped away at the end of the 2021 season and Graham added former Cavan forward Seanie Johnston and Tyrone All-Ireland winner Ryan McMenamin to the set-up, ostensibly as defensive and offensive coaches, according to Graham himself at the time.

A source in the county board stated that they are “pretty confident he’s going to stay”. The local rumour mill suggests that Graham could be a target of Longford county board, whose manager Billy O’Loughlin resigned last week. He has close ties to Mullinalaghta, whom he managed to a famous Leinster Club SFC victory.

However, it is believed the 46-year-old is likely to remain on with Cavan and is, at present, finalising his back-room team. While there is no major urgency at present, were Graham to opt not to stay on, Cavan could find themselves struggling to attract a high-quality candidate for the role, with Monaghan, linked in the media with Dublin’s Jason Sherlock, and Down also on the look-out for new senior team managers.

Colm O’Rourke was confirmed on Monday as the new Meath manager, with the former incumbent, Andy McEntee, having taken over the Antrim senior team in what has been seen as a leftfield move.

Graham was quite emotional after the Tailteann Cup final defeat to Westmeath and the tone of his comments in interviews suggested that he was considering his position.

The former Cavan forward, who took over from Mattie McGleenan, previously mangaged the Cavan minors. With the seniors, he oversaw a first Ulster final appearance in 18 years in 2019 and a first title in 23 years in 2020.

In 2021, Cavan were beaten in the first round by would-be All-Ireland champions Tyrone. This year, a comprehensive away win over Antrim was followed by defeat at the hands of Donegal. Cavan defeated Down, Fermanagh and Sligo in the inaugural Tailteann Cup but lost the final against Westmeath.

ACFL Division 1 final

The last of the All-County Football League finals takes place tomorrow (Sunday) as Crosserlough meet Cavan Gaels (2pm, Crosskeys).

The 2020 county champions defeated Ballyhaise in the semi-final, with the Gaels, who last won the county championship in 2017, coming from eight points down to see off Ramor United.

Crosserlough will be keen to make amends for their final defeat against Gowna last year and will be boosted by the return of Dara McVeety. The former Cavan senior team captain’s transfer from the Michael Cusacks club in Sydney went through last week and he is expected to be available for selection for this decider.

Cavan Gaels, for their part, have improved this year under Jason O’Reilly, who led them to that 2017 success, and a good match is expected, with a large crowd anticipated at St Matthew’s Park.

The only other adult game down for decision this weekend is the ACFL Division 2 relegation play-off replay between Drumgoon and Ballymachugh, which takes place today (Saturday) at 5.30pm in Terry Coyle Park.