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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

The 10 counties who have new football managers for the 2016 season

And they’re getting set for Allianz League bows this weekend.

A NEW SEASON brings with it the promise of renewed hope and expectation for the vast majority of teams looking forward to next weekend’s Allianz Football League start.

For some, the prize is silverware, progress will do for others and more will be happy with consolidation as objectives are targeted and goals set down.

For 10 of the 32 counties competing, new managers are at the helm and here, we take a look at the men who have stepped into the various hot-seats around the country, and across the water in London.

Division 1

Down: Eamonn Burns

Source: Kelvin Boyes Press Eye

Burns is well known to seasoned Down fans, having featured on the 1991 and 1994 All-Ireland SFC winning teams.

From the Bryansford club, Burns is successor to Jim McCorry and worked alongside former senior boss James McCartan in 2013 and 2014.

Cork: Peadar Healy

Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Healy was appointed as Brian Cuthbert’s successor last October and has already made a mark, guiding Cork to McGrath Cup glory last weekend.

Previously a selector alongside 2010 All-Ireland winning boss Conor Counihan, Healy now holds the top job and is renowned as a meticulous operator.

Mayo: Stephen Rochford

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It was clear from a long way out when Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly were ousted last year that Stephen Rochford was the frontrunner for the Mayo post.

A former All-Ireland club medallist with Crossmolina, Rochford repeated the trick as a manager with Galway outfit Corofin last March.

Roscommon: Kevin McStay & Fergal O’Donnell

Kevin McStay Kevin McStay is joining Fergal O'Donnell as Roscommon joint-manager. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

John Evans masterminded promotions from Divisions 3 to 1 but even that wasn’t enough for him to retain the Roscommon post as championship displays failed to live up to pre-summer expectations.

The Rossies have now turned to one of their own in Fergal O’Donnell, mastermind of All-Ireland minor glory in 2006, and Kevin McStay, who was overlooked in 2014 for the vacant post in his native Mayo when James Horan left the role.

Division 2

Derry: Damian Barton

Source: Presseye/Matt Mackey/INPHO

Just like Down, Derry have turned to one of their favourite sons ahead of the 2016 Allianz League campaign.

1993 All-Ireland SFC medallist Damian Barton is Brian McIver’s successor and went close to claiming silverware last weekend, when Derry lost out to Tyrone in the McKenna Cup final.

Laois: Mick Lillis

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Laois went back to basics and homegrown following the departure of Tomás O Flatharta in the wake of last summer’s crushing All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Antrim.

Lillis, originally from Clare, has been a driving force behind the Portlaoise club’s recent success and has now earned himself a shot at the county’s top post.

Division 3

Tipperary: Liam Kearns

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kerry native Kearns is the man Tipperary chiefs have turned to as they look to build on the good work of his predecessor Peter Creedon.

Tipp are targeting a major provincial breakthrough at senior level, something ex-Laois supremo Kearns went desperately close to achieving during the mid noughties with Limerick.

Longford: Denis Connerton

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

This is Connerton’s second spell in charge of Longford, as he was also manager of the Midlanders from 2004-2007.

Connerton has already made an impact as Longford contested last Sunday’s O’Byrne Cup decider, having shocked Dublin along the way to get there.

Kildare: Cian O’Neill

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

O’Neill will be anxious to stamp his mark all over Kildare having taken over from Jason Ryan.

He’s ruffled a few local feathers with early season personnel selections but having worked as S & C coach with the All-Ireland winning Tipperary hurlers in 2010, before stints with the Mayo and Kerry senior footballers, O’Neill served a brilliant apprenticeship before taking the top job in his native county.

Division 4

London: Ciaran Deely

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

One of the most interesting appointments for the 2016 season is that of Ciaran Deely, the former Wexford player who has taken over the reins in London.

The former Model County skipper served as trainer and selector alongside previous Exiles boss Paul Coggins, has enjoyed previous experience as fitness coach with Queens Park Rangers, Dublin GAA and Indian professional soccer club Kerala Blasters.

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