Relegation not ‘the end of the world’

By Shaun Casey

MONAGHAN’S decade-long existence of dining at the top table came to an end this season when they were relegated from Division One, winning just one of their seven outings, but former player Dermot Malone isn’t overly concerned.

Malone, who won two Ulster titles with the Farney County in 2013 and 2015, points to the other top teams such as Division One league finalists Derry and Dublin, who were promoted from the second division last season, as evidence that relegation isn’t always fatal.

Vinny Corey’s side look like a team in transition at the minute and a spell in Division Two next season could be easier on the younger, fresher players that they’re trying to bring through to inter-county level.

“It’s not necessarily a good thing but I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” said Malone of Monaghan’s relegation.

“If you look at the volume of teams that were relegated over the last number of years, all the top teams have been down in Division Two.

“It’s done them no harm and it can do you the world of good at the same token.

“I don’t think it’s the end of the world, it’s a lot worse going from Division Two to Division Three than it is from Division One to Division Two.

“Hopefully they’ll not stay there too long, but I think it’s not necessarily a bad thing and hopefully we’ll be back up to Division One sooner rather than later.”

Following their opening day win over Dublin in the league, Monaghan’s fortunes have flipped.

They now head into the championship off the back of a six-game losing streak that saw them finish bottom of the table.

It’s a quick turnaround as they face old foes Cavan in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship on Sunday, April 7 and Malone, the Monaghan minor manager, says the short timeframe between league and championship is what players want.

“There’s a couple of people that will probably give out that there’s not enough time to recover but I’d think of it from a different standpoint, the players love it. The games are coming thick and fast so let them at it.

“Monaghan are in a position at the minute where they’ve got a large number of injuries and they probably could do with a wee bit more time but on the whole, I think it’s great to get the games going week-on-week.”

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