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Deegan among front-runners for Down job

By Niall Gartland

THE new Down senior intercounty manager is set to be announced by the end of the month, and while a number of men have been linked to the vacant position, there’s no runaway favourite for the role.

1991 and 1994 All-Ireland winner Conor Deegan one of the most-profile names mentioned as a possible successor for Paddy Tally. If he ends up in the job, he would be following in the footsteps of his former teammates Paddy O’Rourke, James McCartan and the late Eamonn Burns. He has experiencing of managing the U-20 team in recent years, so it would be a natural step up to the senior position.

Other names mooted include Ballymun Kickham’s manager Brendan Hackett and Downpatrick’s Karl Oakes, who has experience of coaching Down underage teams. Gaelic Life understands that former Monaghan boss Malachy O’Rourke has no interest in the position, while it seems increasingly unlikely that the highly rated Conor Laverty will step up to the senior role at this juncture at least. Former Louth boss Aidan O’Rourke has also been linked with the post.

Down GAA have already declared that they’re in no rush to appoint Paddy Tally’s successor, but it seems likely that the new manager will be installed by the end of the month.

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