Close season it may be on the local senior gaelic football scene, but news of two managerial appointments in recent days will give cause for much optimism for the players and supporters of both Athlone and Rosemount.
Former Mayo centrefielder and one time All-Star, Liam McHale, was ratified as Athlone senior football manager on Monday night. An eye catching appointment, McHale brings a wealth of experience to the role and it is hoped that his appointment will breathe fresh and positive impetus to the most successful club in the county following their demotion from Group 1 of the senior championship this year.
Having failed to win a championship contest in 2019, Athlone will be seeking a swift return to the higher echelons of the senior ranks and McHale, who was part of the management team when South Roscommon club, St. Brigid’s, made history in 2013 when winning the All-Ireland senior football club title,is now being charged with returning that feeling of success to a club which last won the Flanagan Cup in 1998.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser following the announcement, Athlone GAA Chairman, Fergal O’Toole, expressed his hope that McHale’s managerial experience honed to date would have a positive effect on the senior football squad.
“It is an exciting appointment and one which is very much welcome within the club. We have had a number of managerial changes with our senior team in recent seasons and we look forward to working with Liam and his backroom team during the season to come,” Fergal remarked.
Having met with McHale, O’Toole explained the club’s history, their recent successes at minor and U20 levels and outlined plans for the future.
“Our intentions as a club at senior level were detailed to Liam and thankfully were enthusiastically received. The Executive met on Monday night and formally ratified him into the position of senior manager which is a great boost for the club,” Fergal commented.
Meanwhile, Rosemount, who exited the senior football championship at the quarter final stage this year, have appointed Frankie Dolan to the position of manager. Dolan replaces Benny O’Brien at the helm following his two year stint with the Roses.
Fresh from his selector role with Western Gaels, Dolan will be hoping to achieve in a similar capacity to his time on the sideline with home club, St. Brigids, where during his three year managerial term, he procured two senior football county titles.