line of fire? | 

Dessie Farrell’s future up in the air as rumours circulate in Dublin

Manager expected to meet county board to review season shortly as Colm O’Rourke takes Royal reins
Dessie Farrell has overseen a major period of transition in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Dessie Farrell has overseen a major period of transition in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE


THE future of Dessie Farrell as Dublin senior football manager has yet to be decided, despite ongoing rumours that a replacement has already been lined up.

There has been no indication yet from either Farrell or the county board as to whether he will be Dublin manager in 2023, with the former kicking to touch about his intentions following the recent All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kerry.

Wildfire rumour in the capital over the weekend suggested that not only was Farrell’s departure was imminent, but that the county board had already moved to put in place a new management team.

As yet, however, there has been no official review of the season between the relevant parties.

Farrell was not part of the 1995 All-Ireland-winning Dublin team’s jubilee celebrations in Croke Park on Sunday as the manager is currently away and it is expected he will meet with the county board after his return.

Having won an All-Ireland in his first year at the helm, 2020, Farrell (right) has overseen a period of major transition in Dublin and despite relegation to Division 2 of the league earlier this year, they came within Seán O’Shea’s miraculous free-kick of taking the eventual All-Ireland champions to extra-time.

Given the competitive nature of that defeat – and the mitigating circumstances of the first two years of Farrell’s tenure – the county board are thought to be open to him continuing his work into another term.

If he does opt for a fourth year, Farrell will cross swords with an old foe from his playing days in Colm O’Rourke in Division 2 of next year’s League.

O’Rourke was yesterday announced as the choice of the three-man sub-committee charged with identifying a new Meath senior football manager.

A former minor and U-21 manager, O’Rourke has been long touted as a potential Meath senior boss but recently cast doubt that he would ever hold the role.

O’Rourke retired from inter-county football in 1995 after a glittering 20-year career during which he won two All-Ireland medals in 1987 and ’88.

He has enjoyed a high profile in Gaelic games other than his involvement with teams through his work as an analyst with The Sunday Game on RTÉ and a columnist with the Sunday Independent for almost 30 years.

At 64, O’Rourke will be one of the oldest first-time inter-county senior managers in the game.

Former players Stephen Bray, Meath’s last All-Star in 2007, and Barry Callaghan will act as selectors while others are expected to be added to the backroom team.

Meanwhile, Down have joined the ranks of the manager-less after James McCartan stood down last night after just eight months in charge.

McCartan led the county to their last All-Ireland final appearance in 2010 but returned for a second stint last year.

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