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Who’ll Keep N.Y. in step?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’Reilly

If we’re to believe the new GAA president in Ireland, Sean McCague, then the football manager’s position in the Big Apple will be eagerly sought after. Speaking at a recent county convention, McCague said he suspected that at least 18 counties across the pond were paying the county manager to look after the affairs of the county. It will be interesting to see what if anything the Monaghan man does now about this undercover professionalism in an amateur sport.

Figures as ridiculous as £40,000 have being quoted in recent reports, yet no names or counties have yet being exposed. The breaking of the amateur status is something the top table is well aware of, yet it’s difficult to trace the money to the county boards when most of it comes from other sources.

Here in New York, the home team is now in desperate need of a new manager to lead the exiles into the promised land, and if reports at home are to be believed there should be a queue of candidates before the newly formed selection committee.

Present manager Frank Brady hasn’t indicated if he would like another term in charge, but it is expected that if he lets his name go forward, then the Leitrim man will be involved in some capacity. Reports from within the camp suggest that a number of other candidates are waiting in the wings if Brady decides he’s had enough.

Kerry native Paddy Kearney, who assisted Brady last year, would be the most obvious replacement. Kearney’s no-nonsense approach that brought such success to the Kingdom in ’99 may just be the medicine required to heal and unit a disjointed county squad at present. Other names to be mentioned include Donegal’s Connie Molloy and Tyrone’s Duke Devlin, who both have plenty of experience with their native counties.

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The question being asked this week in GAA circles is, what exactly is required to be honored with the present post of New York manager?

No ads, posters or fliers will be in circulation to entice the ideal candidate to come forward, but if the association does manage to advertise the job then the ad might read something like the following:

Manager wanted. This full-time position involves overseeing all aspects of the New York senior football team for the upcoming season. The ideal candidate should have an intimate knowledge of the game as well as an in-depth understanding of how the association conducts its business. Specific duties include acquiring information on the whereabouts of 30 suitable candidates to train as a unit for six months as well as adequate finances to be able to finish work early and take most weekends off.

The candidate should also have knowledge of the local club scene, be up to date with the latest training skills (no car pushing), and an excellent command of the English language. He must also be a good communicator as his commands must be heard from the sideline.

Previous managerial experience is an advantage but not essential. Generous salary and commission, paid vacation and free helicopter to and from training included (sorry, this isn’t at home, lads, so you’ll have to get your own way to Van Cortlandt Park and Gaelic Park for training and games).

Please send resume with relevant work experience to GAA selection committee before Jan. 4. However, this date is subject to change if the right person for the job doesn’t apply in time. Finally, this new position should prove to be an exciting opportunity for a GAA enthusiast, a dedicated fanatic or a single-minded millionaire who has plenty of time on his hands right now.

The new selection committee appointed to select the new manager comprises Monty Maloney, Seamus Dooley, John Riordan, John Dunne, and a representative from the junior football division who has yet to be named. It is expected that the manager will be in place mid-January, so training for the game against Roscommon can commence.

GAA president Maloney said this week that who ever gets the job will be required to give it a 100 percent commitment.

"We expect to be playing Roscommon here for our first-ever championship clash at Gaelic Park, so it’s vital that we perform to the best of our ability," he said. "The association here in New York will be leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to get the home advantage and we feel with the right man in charge we have every chance of causing a major upset."

Maloney has had intense negotiations with Connaught Council representatives for the last few weeks, and if the right package is presented to the Roscommon board, they may consider traveling.

"We feel that the home tie is very much alive, especially after us traveling home to play Mayo and Galway in the last two years," Maloney said. "The most important thing right now, however, is that we’re prepared properly and that the right man for the job is chosen."

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