Committee begin search for new Louth football manager

Louth’s fractured season ended last weekend with a narrow defeat by Longford

Outgoing Louth football manager Wayne Kierans. File photograph: Inpho

Outgoing Louth football manager Wayne Kierans. File photograph: Inpho

 

Louth will be looking for a new football manager after the decision by the county management committee on Thursday night not to offer Wayne Kierans a third year in charge.

Kierans, who has also managed the county minor and under-21 teams, in a gracious Tweet said that the experience had been a privilege.

“It was a real privilege to work with the various Louth teams over the last five years and also a pleasure to see first-hand the development of the best young players in the county.

“Thanks to all the players and management teams over this time and best wishes to everyone at senior level and all the other age groups for the future years ahead.”

The county board statement thanked him and his selectors for their contribution over the two seasons.

“Louth GAA management committee would like to sincerely thank Wayne and his backroom team of Cathal Murray, Liam Kelleher, Ciaran Marks and Shane McCoy for their efforts. They have shown professionalism, enthusiasm, dedication and continued courtesy over the last two years and we have enjoyed a positive working relationship with Wayne and his management team.”

Louth’s fractured season ended last weekend with a narrow defeat by Longford in the Leinster championship, as due to the abbreviated calendar there are no qualifiers. This followed a difficult season in Division Three, which culminated in relegation, having lost all matches up until the last-day victory in a dead rubber with already promoted Down.

Arguably the watershed for Kierans’s tenure came in the heavy Leinster championship defeat by Dublin in May 2019. Louth had by that stage put in very creditable campaign in Division Three, finishing just a point off promotion and followed that up with a good championship win over Wexford.

After the 26-point defeat by Dublin, nothing went right. Louth exited the qualifiers at the hands of Antrim and lost the first six league matches in 2020.

Speaking to The Irish Times last week, former county manager and current chair of the county board Peter Fitzpatrick said that starting next season in the lowest division would give Louth a ground zero opportunity.

“We’re going to have a look at the structure. We’re starting off again next year. We’ll be in Division Four and we’ll sit down and look at whether we’re doing things right. I know the GAA’s going to have a look at separating club and county seasons but even if nothing changes there we’re definitely going to have a look at how we can improve and give the county team more of a chance.”

The committee to oversee the process to choose Kierans’s successor will begin deliberations immediately and its members are: Fitzpatrick, Bob Doheny, Seán McClean, Aidan Berrill and Francie McMullen.

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