Louth officials kick off search for new gaffer
LOUTH GAA chiefs will start the search for a new football manager this week after Pete McGrath stepped down from the position last Thursday.
The Down native managed just one season - and barely 10 months - in the Wee County hotseat, but adverse results and a dwindling panel appear to have forced him to call it a day.
The Reds lost all seven of their games in Division 2 of the Allianz League and were dumped out of the Leinster Championship by Carlow.
They managed to pick themselves up to see off London in the Qualifiers, but McGrath’s departure seemed inevitable following a 10-point defeat to Leitrim in round two.
He opted to ‘take time’ to consider his position in the wake of that demoralising defeat, but 12 days later the County Board released a statement confirming his departure.
It read: ‘Following on from discussions with our senior football manager, we wish to confirm that Pete McGrath has decided to step down from the position of manager of the Louth senior football team.
‘Louth GAA would like to place on record our appreciation to Pete and his backroom team for all their efforts and commitment with our senior squad this year.’
‘Pete has a great enthusiasm for the game and Louth GAA enjoyed a positive working relationship with him and his management team.’
Less than a year since McGrath’s appointment some of the names linked to the job at that stage are bound to re-surface again this summer, with Colm Nally and Steven Poacher popping up on the rumour mill. The name of former minor and U-20 boss Wayne Kierans has also been mentioned as a possible successor to McGrath, whom her served under as a selector this season.
Supporters may even be asking themselves if the county board should bury the hatchet with Colin Kelly, despite the former manager departing in acrimonious circumstances in 2017.
Like McGrath, Kelly’s next job as Westmeath boss was short-lived, and he noted in his resignation statement that the Lake County might be better served looking inside the county for their next manager.
Kelly guided the Reds to back-to-back promotions in 2016 and ‘17, although his Championship record was poor.
With the position of county hurling manager also vacant, Louth chiefs face another busy summer of recruitment.