NEW Cavan senior ladies boss Gerry Moane says that his role will be to guide the many talented young players coming through the ranks in the Breffni County.
Even though they struggled to make their mark in the All-Ireland Senior Championship last year, Cavan had excellent numbers at training last year, and they’ll see no reason why they can’t make it out of Division Two in the near future after some near misses in the last few seasons..
They also have plenty of young players staking their claim, so the recent retirement of legendary ladies footballer Aisling Doonan shouldn’t be too much of a blow.
Moane, who stepped down as Tyrone ladies manager last November, after five years in charge said: “Cavan were beaten two years in-a-row in Division Two finals so their ambitions are to get into Division One.
“You don’t even know if there’ll be league football this year, but there’s endless talent in Cavan at underage level so it’s a matter of bringing that to fruition at senior level. They’ll also be aiming for an Ulster title and I don’t see any reason why they can’t hold their own in the All-Ireland senior championship either.”
Moane has brought with him Beragh native Barry Grimes, his right-hand man for the last four years at Tyrone (“Barry’s second to none trainer, you just have to look at what he’s done in development squads in Tyrone, he’s a massive addition to the backroom team and to the Cavan ladies.”) There’s also a healthy Cavan contingent as Martin McKiernan is entering his second season as strength and conditioning coach while Michael Lee and Sean Og Brady are also involved.
Moane said: “Fair play to Cavanladies, they appointed a strength and conditioning coach to the ladies, this is Martin’s second year in the role and that’s a massive plus.
“He’s very enthusiastic and very good at his job. We’re all looking forward to getting going and all the girls are looking forward to getting on the pitch as there’s a good set up in Cavan.”
Moane, a native of Brookeborough in Fermanagh, has long-standing ties in Tyrone as he’s married to an Augher woman. He decided to step down last season and hopes that their new manager Kevin McCrystal can take them to the next level.
“Mickey Harte was there a long time and people spoke about how he reinvented himself, but I felt the Tyrone ladies needed a bit of a change. There was no issue with the players or the county board but I felt it was time for a change and recognise that sometimes people stay too long.
“2020 wasn’t the greatest season for Tyrone. We made good strides in the league but I felt lockdown was unkind to the time.
“We were beaten by Armagh in Ulster and the All-Ireland, I think we played well in spells but goals cost us.”
Moane also feels very strongly that counties should abide by the current restrictions, though hopes that the go ahead will be given for a return to collective training for intercounty teams on April.5
“The players are working away on their own at the minute, following the guidance of our strength and conditioning coach. I haven’t got to meet them face-to-face which is very difficult. They’re looking forward to getting started on the pitch and fingers crossed we’ll be able to do so on April 5.”