Roscommon’s search to replace Anthony Cunningham to end on Wednesday night

Davy Burke, Brendan Hackett and Pat Flanagan are the names being mentioned for the last intercounty post to be filled

Roscommon will complete the 2023 intercounty managerial jigsaw on Wednesday night by finally appointing a new senior football boss – 137 days after their season ended.

There have been three different prime ministers in Britain during the period Roscommon have been without a senior football manager.

But Roscommon’s search to replace Anthony Cunningham looks set to finally end on Wednesday night, having stalled on appointing a manager before last Sunday’s county final to instead ask candidates to return with their backroom teams before a final decision would to be made.

Davy Burke, Brendan Hackett and Pat Flanagan have been the names linked with the position and a specially convened county board meeting has been called for Wednesday evening with ratification of a new management team on the agenda.


Burke, who managed the Kildare under-20s to an All-Ireland title at that grade in 2018, has built up an impressive cv in recent years. He made decent progress with Wicklow and also led Sarsfields to a Kildare SFC three years ago.

Hackett, who had a short stint as Westmeath senior manager in 2010, guided Ballymun Kickhams to a Dublin SFC in 2020. He also managed Kildare to Leinster minor titles in 2015 and 2016. Flanagan is seen as the outsider of the three, despite managing Pádraig Pearses to two Roscommon senior titles in 2019 and 2021.

Roscommon are the only county yet to appoint a manager, after Donegal on Monday night ratified Paddy Carr to succeed Declan Bonner.

Donegal and Roscommon will both compete in Division One of the National Football League next season, so the apparent difficulty in securing managers has increased the spotlight on the appointments. Another top-flight county, Monaghan, only appointed Vinny Corey as their manager at the end of September.

Roscommon lost this year’s Connacht final to Galway before exiting the championship following defeat to Clare in an All-Ireland qualifier. It was a low-key ending to what had otherwise been an encouraging year for Roscommon.

They topped Division Two in the National League, securing promotion, and also beat Galway in their divisional final.

At underage level, Roscommon won the 2020 Connacht minor title and in 2021 claimed the provincial under-20 crown. They progressed to contest the All-Ireland under-20 decider that year, but lost to Offaly at Croke Park.

And speaking after Sunday’s Roscommon SFC final, triumphant Strokestown manager John Rogers said there was no shortage of talent in the county for the incoming county boss to work with in the seasons ahead.

“A player like Colm Neary in there for this first year in senior, whoever comes in in Roscommon should be building a team around the likes of Colm. I know he’s only 18 but he is the future. Other counties are building teams around young lads and that’s the way you have to go to build a team.”

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times