Sigerson Cup final: Niall Moyna stepping down as DCU manager

Stepping aside after 15 years, Monaghan man says UCD deserved cup win but DCU has a bright future

 

Niall Moyna has confirmed he is stepping down as manager of DCU, saying it’s time to let the “next generation” build a new dynasty with the third-level giants.

The Monaghan native revealed his departure in the wake of Saturday’s Sigerson Cup final defeat to UCD at Jordanstown.

Moyna, who transformed DCU into a mecca of elite sport for third-level students and won four Sigerson Cups in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2015, said he will remain at the university as Professor of Health and Human Performance.

“I’m 15 years at it and I just thought it needs a change,” he said. “This is maybe the fifth or sixth team I’ve built.

“We won the Freshers League and Championship this year and there’s a great group of players coming along, so I could be selfish and stay at it because I think we have a good enough team to win next year. But that’s not the right thing to do.

Next manager

He has already identified who should succeed him as DCU manager. “I have one person in mind . . . if I can convince him to take it.”

Moyna accepted UCD were deserving winners, the south Dublin outfit having to overcome a number of hurdles to win their first Sigerson Cup in 20 years.

Dublin star Paul Mannion limped off early on with a quad injury and Kildare forward Niall Kelly was black-carded before half time.

And after playing all the football in the first half, they were hit with a sucker-punch in first-half injury time through Stephen O’Brien’s goal and trailed 1-2 to 0-4 at the break.

John Heslin starred for UCD hitting 0-6, including three frees in the third quarter as they pulled clear again.

However Conor Moynagh’s 52nd minute penalty, after Conor McGraynor was upended in the square, drew DCU level again before Heslin and sub Stephen Coen hit late points to secure a deserved UCD victory.

UCD boss John Divilly played down injury concerns over Dublin duo Jack McCaffrey and Paul Mannion.

Skipper McCaffrey also went off early in Friday’s semi-final win over UL but started Saturday’s final. “Jack said he was good to go, and you have to trust the player sometimes.

“He was captain and said ‘off you go and give it everything you have’.”

Unhappy

Conor McCarthy

“I thought every decision went against us to be perfectly honest, but sometimes you have days like that and you have to try to keep your cool on the line. It was hard because a lot of decisions went against us and you have to prepare for those eventualities.”

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