Both Mickey Moran and John Morrison visited Leitrim yesterday for the first time in their role of Senior management team and spent a very busy 5 hours in Carrick as they held a press conference and kept a careful eye on both the Intermediate & Senior quarterfinals in addition to carrying out other duties. They are very happy with the way the day went and are looking forward to more frequent visits over the coming weeks.
We have had a huge response to the radio interview podcasts and have recorded a large number of downloads, we would like to thank both OceanFM and Shannonside FM for the use of their material.
In this news item were including a clipping from a news article that was published last week in the Irish Post which gives the northern perspective to the appointments.
"Moran answers call "
After two years out of the inter-county scene, Mickey Moran has relented to Leitrim’s pleadings and agreed to become their Manager.
Eamonn O’Hara meets a man looking forward to a new challenge.
A QUARTER past eight in the AM, breakfast served and Mickey Moran fields the first of a stream of telephone calls. The handset hardly has time to cool before the next ringtone goes off.
Yesterday’s morning news confirms Leitrim football has secured the former All-Ireland SFC title-winning coach as their senior team Manager, an appointment described as ‘the biggest Managerial announcement since John O’Mahony took over the county in the early 1990s’.
Moran’s right hand man, John Morrison, is an integral part of the deal brokered, Morrison having been part of his management teams for a year at Donegal, three years at Derry and while Moran managed Mayo to Connacht success.
After two seasons away from the melting pot of inter-county football – during which time he guided Jordanstown to back-to-back Sigerson Cup finals and Sigerson victory this year – Moran said he felt recharged and ready to take the plunge again.
It was a difficult decision, he admitted, but the relentless determination of Leitrim’s chairManagerry McGovern and his county board to convince him he was their number one target for a successor to Dessie Dolan, finally won him and Morrison over.
“I basically got a call from him a couple of weeks ago. He was very persuasive and insistent, was very honest, very open and I said to him that John and myself would meet him personally but that there were no guarantees,” said Mickey.
“We met with other county board members then as well. We felt that they appreciated our coaching abilities, especially John’s.
“We explained that we had to consider the travel and everything else involved and, to begin with, I was reluctant.”
Leitrim’s officials refused to take no for an answer, kept in regular contact and last Saturday all parties agreed to meet again.
Moran and Morrison left convinced a move back to the west was the right one to go for.
A specially convened county executive management committee meeting on Monday night put its stamp of approval on the appointments.
However, accepting the challenge comes at a price, said Moran, as “reluctantly” he has decided to step down from his post with Sigerson Cup champions UUJ and he will end his management commitment to Antrim club Creggan Kickhams at the end of the domestic campaign.
“I did stay with Jordanstown when I was with Mayo and during my time at Sligo, but I’ve decided that I will step down,” he said.
“It is a bit of a pull but I think you have to be serious about it and I am going to cut all other ties to give this a proper chance.
“At the end of the year I will also step down from my position at Creggan after two seasons that I enjoyed every minute of."
“I suppose John and myself felt we had a couple of years left to give. Our names were being bandied about all over the place, in speculation all the time, and the same last year, but I was more sort of reticent than John about it.
“Leitrim’s county board were very open about what they wanted, were very frank and
honest and that took us back to the beginnings when we were at Sligo. We looked at everything about Leitrim, assessed their facilties at Carrick on Shannon and Cloone, looked at the other situations and John and myself agreed that here’s a place we feel wanted and that there’s a challenge.
“We felt that Leitrim was the right place to go to, the place to go and do it and enjoy the challenge. Leitrim people are very genuine people and it’s obvious everyone is pulling together, the board, the players, the sponsors, they have a great relationship, and with the supporters.
“We felt appreciated in terms of our coaching abilities and they have a vision of where they want to go.”
Moran and Morrison inherit a young and progressive squad that under-achieved this year in the NFL, stalling high hopes of Division Three promotion with early defeats to Longford, Louth and Fermanagh.
In the Championship they lost narrowly, again, to Galway in the Connacht semi-finals and went out to Wicklow at the penultimate stage of the Tommy Murphy Cup.
In prolific marksman Emlyn Mulligan (0-21 SFC, 1-12 Tommy Murphy Cup, 2-34 NFL) Moran has a top-rated young forward to develop an improved attack around for the 2009 tasks and tests. He believes the potential is there to move Leitrim forward to the next level.
“Dessie Dolan had a good young squad and the board feel that with a bit of work they could hopefully get over the line,” he said.
“They have good facilities, have spent millions of euro on Carrick-on-Shannon, are very competitive and hopefully the squad can adapt to our game plan and we can get a bit more out of them. We are excited about it and looking forward to the challenge.”
In Leitrim the capture of Moran and Morrison is being billed a “major coup”. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing.
Time for a fresh brew perhaps before the next call.
A busy season back on the circuit awaits this established double act and county number five for the former All-Ireland winner and his right-hand man.
01-Sep-08 by Brendan Doyle – PRO