Westmeath still waiting to appoint a new football manager
Former Laois and Offaly boss Tom Cribbin now one of those in the frame
Paul Bealin: led Westmeath last year but failed to get the backing of the clubs for a second term. Photo: William Cherry/Inpho/Presseye
And then there was one. Westmeath now stand alone as the last county still looking to appoint a senior football manager for 2015, and the search is nowhere near completion yet.
Despite a growing list of potential candidates – including former Laois and Offaly manager Tom Cribbin – Westmeath chairman Sean Sheridan has admitted they are still some way off deciding who will get the job.
Paul Bealin was originally put forward for a second season in charge, although he failed to get the necessary backing. The county board then put forward the name of Peter Leahy, but he too was rejected by club delegates.
“We just want to get it right,” said Sheridan. “We rushed it a couple of times before, or so we were told. We felt we had a man, but that was rejected by the clubs.
“We will be meeting again this week, to discuss exactly where we are at, with a view to filling the position as soon as possible after.”
Cribbin’s name emerged over the weekend and he may yet get the nomination, given his experience, while former county star and selector Jack Cooney and Noel O’Brien, the former manager of Roscommon club St Brigid’s, were also being considered in recent weeks.
Westmeath are among those counties eligible to be back in collective training from the earliest date, November 15th. However it seems increasingly unlikely that they will have confirmed their new manager at that point.
Another man linked to the job was Liam McHale, but he has since agreed to link up with Cavan – acting as “player performance coach”.
In total, 14 counties have already filled new football management positions for 2015.
The list includes Turlough O’Brien (Carlow), Colin Kelly (Louth), Jonny Magee (Wicklow) Pat Flanagan (Offaly), Tom McGlinchey (Waterford), Niall Carew (Sligo), Shane Ward (Leitrim), Kevin Walsh (Galway), and Pat Holmes/Noel Connelly (Mayo). In Ulster Rory Gallaher (Donegal), Frank Fitzsimons (Antrim), Kieran McGeeney (Armagh), and Jim McCorry (Down) are all also new to their roles.