McNulty to meet Laois players
JUSTIN McNULTY meets the Laois football panel tonight to see if it is possible to continue as their manager for a third season. Despite losing to Longford in the Leinster championship first round on May 20th, Laois recovered to make the All-Ireland quarter-finals, where they lost by three points to Dublin. This was not deemed a successful campaign by McNulty or the county board.
The former Armagh defender was initially appointed on a three-year term but this is being reviewed by the county board executive with their final decision expected on Monday week.
However, the situation will become clearer after McNulty’s meeting with the Laois panel. He also sat down with members of the county executive last week in what both sides described as an “amicable” and “positive” discussion, although no public support for McNulty to continue followed.
There is also doubt about Pat Flanagan’s future as Westmeath manager after the football board postponed their decision for at least a fortnight. Flanagan and the board members are due for further discussion when the Clara man returns from holiday.
Westmeath almost caused the biggest shock of the summer, only for a Darran O’Sullivan goal to ensure Kerry progressed to round three of the qualifiers on July 15th.
Luke Dempsey is believed to be interested in returning for a second stint as manager should the board decide not to ratify Flanagan for a fourth season.
The situation with Anthony Daly and the Dublin hurlers also remains uncertain with a meeting between Daly and county board chairman Andy Kettle due to take place this weekend. With both Dublin players and the board keen for him to return for a fifth season, the decision remains Daly’s alone.
“We’ve had some discussions over the phone but haven’t sat down formally as a management group,” said Dublin selector Richie Stakelum. “It is fair to say it is difficult to see the management going forward without Anthony.
“It is also very difficult to leave a situation having performed so poorly this year, particularly considering the progress we made before that. That does stick in the back of our throat. But to go back we would want to be sure we can turn that ship around. In our own minds we must be certain we can achieve that. Ultimately, that decision will boil down to Anthony.”
Finally, Meath’s David Coldrick will referee the All-Ireland semi-final between Donegal and Cork with Cavan’s Joe McQuillan taking charge of Dublin versus Mayo.