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Who’ll replace Ricey? The contenders for the Fermanagh job

DOMINIC CORRIGAN

WHENEVER Fermanagh need a new manager, Dominic’s name is invariably mentioned and he’s the early favourite for the job. He ruled himself out of the running in late 2019 before Ryan McMenamin took the post, but perhaps he’ll be looking for a new high profile gig after a few years on the club scene in Leitrim. He’s a hugely influential figure in Fermanagh football and fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he led St Michael’s, Enniskillen to the MacRory Cup in 2019 and many of those young players are now on the senior panel. It’s also fair to say there’s a good chance he’d be able to coax his sons Tomas and Ruairi back to the fold after they quit the panel over the winter period. Understood to be the front runner for the post.

MALACHY O’ROURKE

O’ROURKE is a greatly respected figure throughout Ulster (just look at the page to your right for proof of that), and Fermanagh fans would love if he came back for a second stint in charge of his native county. He led the Ernesiders to an Ulster final appearance in 2008, but he may consider that the same depth of talent isn’t there anymore. Still, there’s nothing like managing your native county, and it’s hard to believe that he’ll stay away from intercounty management forever. You’d assume the Fermanagh county board will certainly be querying his availability anyway.

KIERAN DONNELLY
FORMER Fermanagh player Kieran Donnelly has been on the coaching scene for some time now and may be looking to take the next big step. He had a successful stint at Scotstown, and is currently manager of Cavan Gaels. The Omagh CBS schoolteacher withdrew from the race whenever ‘Ricey’ was appointed, but he’s a popular and experienced figure who led Scotstown to the cusp of Ulster final glory in 2018,. where they lost by a point to Gaoth Dobhair. Maybe his comparative lack of intercounty management experience would count against him, but he did train the side when Peter Canavan was in charge.

MAURICE MCLAUGHLIN
THE Erne Gaels man has quietly built up a lot of management experience over the last five years. He led his native club to the Fermanagh county final, where they were defeated by Derrygonnelly (no great shame), and subsequently he became involved in managing Fermanagh intercounty teams at underage level. He actually managed both the minor and u-20 teams in the ‘2020 season’ which obviously dragged well into this year, and the minors gave a particularly good account of themselves in a narrow semi-final defeat to Monaghan. It is possibly too early for him to take the senior mantle.

CONOR LAVERTY
IN a recent Irish News column, former Down star Danny Hughes basically said – ‘not now, Conor’, in relation to the vacant Down position. Possibly he’d like to earn his senior intercounty stripes at a different county, and why not Fermanagh? He was part of Dominic Corrigan’s management set-up when St Michael’s, Enniskillen won the Hogan C up, so he knows a lot of the players well, and he’s in high demand at the moment after leading the Down u-20 team to the Ulster Championship title. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes next, anyway, given he’s one of the hottest prospects in coaching in the game.

NIGEL SEANEY
TRILLICK manager Nigel Seaney has enjoyed incredible success just across the border in Tyrone. The Irvinestown native led Trillick to Senior Championship titles in 2015 and 2019, and they were unfortunate not to claim the elusive back-to-back when they lost to Dungannon Clarke’s on penalties last year. He’s certainly proved himself as a fine manager in the bearpit of Tyrone club football, but he seems fairly content as it is and is possibly too publicity shy to want a job at intercounty level.

 

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