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Armagh on the hunt for new manager as Down appoint Orchard county man again

Peter Lynch returns to the Mourne county helm.

Departing Armagh manager Ronan Murphy.
Departing Armagh manager Ronan Murphy.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

ARMAGH ARE ON the hunt for a new senior ladies football manager after the departure of Ronan Murphy from the helm.

Murphy spent three seasons in charge of the Orchard county, delivering three Ulster titles and reaching the All-Ireland semi-final in 2020, and quarter-finals in ’21 and ’22.

This year, they exited at the hands of All-Ireland finalists Kerry, having also fallen short to the Kingdom in the Division 2 league final. Eventual champions Dublin and Meath respectively ended their bid the previous two seasons.

“Armagh are looking for a new senior manager for the 2023 campaign, following the departure of Ronan Murphy,” a statement from Armagh LGFA over the weekend read.

“Ronan recently stepped down as manager after a three-year spell, whilst guiding Armagh to three Ulster senior titles.

“Armagh LGFA board would like to thank Ronan and his backroom team for all their hard work and commitment to the team.”

Murphy took the reins from duo Lorraine McCaffrey and Fionnuala McAtamney ahead of the 2020 season, and the Tyrone native had former Kildare goalkeeper Shane McCormack as his number two.

The county is inviting expressions of interest for his successor via email by Sunday, 21 August, at 5pm.

Meanwhile, an Armagh man is taking over neighbours Down once more.

Peter Lynch had co-managed the Mourne county alongside Caoibhe Sloan from 2019 to 2021, before stepping aside and Ronan McCartan took charge.

But the hot-seat became vacant once more after a difficult 2022 championship campaign and relegation from the intermediate ranks to junior.

“Down LGFA are delighted to welcome Peter Lynch back as our senior county manager,” a statement today reads.

“Peter will take up his position with immediate effect in preparation for the coming 2023 season. We wish him, and his backroom team, every success for the challenges ahead, and assure him of the full support of all associated with ladies football in Down.”

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Down LGFA chairman Stephen Magorrian said: “We were enjoying a very successful run of results when he first came on board, but unfortunately this came to a sudden halt with the onslaught of Covid, and the subsequent disruption over the rest of his time with us.

“We hope now that Peter will get a clear run at things in terms of preparation etc., and we believe that, with his new back room team, there is significant familiarity for us to hit the ground running, and significant difference to make it exciting and fun for the squad.

“We wish Peter and his team every success, and we will do all we can to ensure they have the support they need. ”

“I am delighted and honoured to once again manage Down senior ladies,” Lynch, who hails from the Shane O’Neill’s club, home of Armagh stars Aimee and Blaithin Mackin, added. “I would like thank the executive committee for giving me the opportunity.

“Over the past number of weeks, a strong, experienced management team has been assembled, which will be announced at a later date, as not to distract from their current commitments.

“We believe the footballers in Down are as good as any in the country and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead of us all next season.”

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Emma Duffy

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