Leitrim GAA scored a major coup last Monday evening when they appointed the highly sought after Mickey Moran as the new Manager of the County Senior team and installed coaching guru John Morrison by his side.
The appointment of the duo was unanimously approved by a special meeting of the County Board in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada last Monday and County Board Chairman Gerry McGovern was understandably delighted by the appointment of the former Derry, Donegal, Mayo and Sligo Manager to the post vacated by Dessie Dolan.
"Im absolutely delighted to be announcing that the Leitrim team Manager for 2009 will be Mickey Moran, accompanied by John Morrison," Gerry told the Observer. "Mickey was the first choice of our management committee and his pedigree as a team Manager is well known. He is highly respected as a team Manager, probably one of the best in the county.
"John Morrison, on the other hand, is a Master Coach, there are very few of them in the country and we are absolutely delighted to have them on board and they are looking forward to working with Leitrim as well.
"Initially, they have been appointed for a one year term. Well see how one year goes but we know from talking to them that if it works out, I have no doubt that they will be available to us for other years," added Gerry who revealed that both men will be in attendance at the Club Championship games in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada next Sunday afternoon.
The news that Moran and Morrison were appointed took many by surprise but Gerry revealed that the Ulster pair were impressed by the ambition of the County Board – "We were on the ball, we were first in. It wasnt a case of having to force them to come to the county, they would see Leitrim as having potential.
"Mickey and John were both in charge of Mayo for two years when they came to Carrick-on-Shannon and they said that they never got a fright like it. They would feel there is great potential and they are pretty confident they can improve this team big time.
"They are not coming for the craic, I can assure you. They are coming with the ambition to win a Connacht title, secondly to get promotion from Division Four but they also want to see Leitrim playing in Croke Park."
Gerry also revealed that both men would be heavily involved in a major revamping of the Coaching and Development of football in Leitrim – "Our ambition is to provide the very best for Leitrim players. We are trying to provide the very best training facilities and the best player accommodation and I think it is important that we provide a top quality management team and a coaching system that will improve the skills of the players.
"We have spent a lot of time in developing facilities but I think it is important that we develop the skills of the footballers in the county and this applies from underage up," said Gerry who added that both Moran and Morrison will work with all County teams as well as with club coaches around the county.
Both men will jump straight into the job and Gerry revealed that they visited the County last weekend to inspect training venues and were impressed with the facilities on offer in Cloone. Both men would be attending club games extensively in the coming months and would hope to organise a development panel for back-up players.
"They want to see all club football and if anybody thinks there is somebody in the county who is of the standard required, they want to hear about them," concluded Gerry who added that a Leitrim based selector will be appointed and they hope to start holding trial games in October.
27-Aug-08 by LeitrimObserver.ie