By Shaun Casey
KILCOO are on the hunt for a new manager as the club confirmed that the joint ticket of Conleith Gilligan and Richard Thornton have left.
The pair guided the Magpies to a Down title this year and to the Ulster final where they lost out to Glen. Gilligan and Thornton also made up Mickey Moran’s backroom team last season when Kilcoo climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand as All-Ireland champions.
Elsewhere, Down legend Benny Coulter will remain in charge of Rostrevor for another season, having guided the St Bronagh’s club to the Intermediate Championship final this year.
Rostrevor, who competed in Division 1B of the league, lost out to Saval in the decider, with three points the difference at full time.
The 2010 All-Star will have to juggle that role with the Down minor job, having been recently appointed as the county’s u-17 boss.
Finnian Moriarty is set to stay with Carryduff, recognised as one of the top contenders to Kilcoo’s throne, for a second season.
Injuries dented their championship hopes this season as they crashed out at the quarter-final stage at the hands of Mayobridge.
The former Armagh defender guided Maghery to league (2019) and championship (2020) titles during his time in charge of the Loughshore men and took charge of Carryduff this season.
Paul Evans is the new manager of Downpatrick, and his backroom team is made up of Danny Carville and Conor O’Neill.
Downpatrick suffered a 2-3 to 0-2 defeat to Burren in round 2A of the SFC before losing out to Mayobridge, 2-5 to 0-6, in round three. They also finished mid-table in Division 1B.
Kevin Duffin and Collie McCrickard will once again form the management team in Loughinisland. The pair guided the Blues to the SFC semi-final last season and dramatically lost out to Warrenpoint after a penalty shootout.
Tullylish are under new management for the 2023 season, with former Rostrevor player John Fegan taking charge.
Fegan has enjoyed previous spells at Downpatrick, Saul and most recently Bryansford and will lead the Tullylish intermediate charge next season.
Fegan will be joined by Clonduff native Ryan McShane along with Tullylish clubmen Mick Fegan and Conor McManus.
Tullylish reached the last eight of the IFC last season but lost out to eventual winners Saval twice during the campaign.
Saval were huge 2-14 to 1-5 winners in round 2A, but Tullylish closed the gap significantly by the time the sides met at the quarter-final stage, losing this time 0-13 to 0-11.
Long-time Glenn player Stevie Clarke takes over the reins at his native club, replacing Tony Bagnall at the helm.
Clarke will be joined in his management team by Eamon Toner, a league and championship winner with Burren in 2018, and fellow clubman Mark Devlin.