By Niall Gartland
FORMER Monaghan coach Ryan Porter says that Vinny Corey has all the qualities to succeed in his new role as senior intercounty manager.
Appointed to the role after an 85-day search that had a few detours along the way, it’s fair to say that Vinny’s name wasn’t plucked from thin air – Corey was one of the county’s most celebrated players during a lengthy career in the white and blue, and he also acted as selector under Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney in the last few years.
Vinny won two Ulster titles in the Monaghan jersey – in 2013 and 2015 – an illustrious period when Malachy O’Rourke was manager. Tyrone native Ryan Porter trained the team during those years, and says Corey is a shrewd and supremely organised figure.
“Vinny was one of our main leaders when we were there. He was highly respected within the dressing room and had all the qualities you need in a manager.
“He’s very smart, a deep thinker. One thing with Vinny, he’ll be very organised and will give it 100 percent.
“He’s been involved the last couple of years and maybe he was looking a bit of time out but I always felt he’d get involved again. He’s taken the job on now and I think it’s a good appointment for Monaghan.”
Barring any retirements, Corey will now manage some of the players he soldiered alongside, including his club colleague Conor McManus, Rory Beggan and the Hughes and Wylie siblings. Porter thinks his appointment may even convince some of them to stick around for another year, and he says that the age profile of the team is still favourable.
“I think there’s a bit of a misconception, they have five or six boys who would be perceived as older, but if you actually look through the age profile of the team, they’re actually fairly young. Even players who have played for five or six years are still in their mid twenties.
“As regards older players Vinny played alongside, I know for a fact they’d hold Vinny in the highest regard. There might have been a possibility of some of them retiring, but knowing how respected Vinny was by the fellas. I think some of those lads will give it another year to try and help him.”
That said, Conor Manus and co are in the twilight of their careers at this stage, but Porter doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad time for Porter to assume the role.
“If you look across the team, a lot of lads are around 24 and 25 and there’s a few younger than that. It’s about getting those lads to raise their levels even slightly. The more experienced lads, whether they’re starters to coming in as subs, are still going to be very useful for Vinny.
“It’s going to be tough but Monaghan still have a lot of good players and the standard of club football is competitive. They need a bit of luck as well, and the county board needs to give Vinny and the rest of the backroom a bit of time if they’re to successfully come through that transition.”