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Michael Duignan: 'We'll see what John wants to do first - Tomás would be a contender'

The Offaly chairman addressed the future over the county’s senior football manager role.

Tomás Ó Sé and John Maughan.
Tomás Ó Sé and John Maughan.
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

OFFALY CHAIRMAN MICHAEL Duignan has revealed he has spoken to Tomás Ó Sé about the role of the county’s senior football manager for 2023.

John Maughan has been in charge for the last four years but was non-committal about his future after their recent Tailteann Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Westmeath.

Duignan, speaking on BBC’s The GAA Social podcast, insisted that Maughan is still in place and his planning to speak to him in the coming days.

But he admitted Ó Sé, the Kerry great who joined the Faithful management team this year, is a contender to take over. Duignan has also spoken to All-Ireland U20 winning boss Declan Kelly but work commitments rule him out of potentially making the step up to senior level at this time.

“I haven’t spoken to John Maughan about it yet. John is in place. I think he might have indicated to the players sort of after the match, the way he spoke, was he enjoyed his time and that

“I went to Tomás’s house last year with John Maughan’s blessing. I met John in Sligo, he agreed to stay on for another year. I mentioned Tomás and John said, ‘If he’ll come, I’d love to have him.’

“Tomás was a bit taken aback because it was kind of out of the blue. He didn’t have a direct role. We had a couple of coaches already. He was keen to learn, keen to get involved, we’re keen to keep him involved.

michael-duignan-eoghan-cahill-michael-fennelly-and-emma-walls Offaly chairman Michael Duignan (left - file photo). Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“I don’t know. Look John Maughan is the manager still. I’ll probably be talking to John actually today or tomorrow or the next couple of days to see where he is. In fairness to John, he took over Offaly and the first night he came to Offaly for a meeting, seven players turned up. That’s where it was at. John Maughan deserve a lot of credit for what he put back into Offaly. He organised them, he put pride back, discipline, the players really responded well to him and he did a great job.

“Out of respect for John, I’d have huge respect for him, he’s a great guy, great character and great personality as well. He’s done four years. He has said to me over the last couple of years, the travelling, he has had a serious back operation, the travelling is killing him.

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“We’ll see what John wants to do first. Obviously Tomás would be a contender. There’s a process actually. There’s a bye-law, we have to take nominations from the clubs. We’ve to go through the process. I couldn’t sit here and say Tomás Ó Sé will be the next Offaly manager.

“I’d like him to be involved. Declan Kelly, our U20 manager, I’ve spoken to Declan as well and I’ve spoken to Tomás as well about next year and the future. I think Tomás Ó Sé will be in the running and I think he will be interested.

“They (the Offaly players) couldn’t speak highly enough of him. He’s one of the finest people you’ll meet in your life. He’s a great person, great personality, very straight which I love. But there is a process and Declan Kelly, I’ve actually spoken to Declan about the possibilities and Declan’s not in a position to put his name forward at the moment because of work commitments.

“Declan has done a great job and he’s another man that will have a big part to play in Offaly. We’ll chat to John Maughan, we’ll see where John is at and the main thing is that it’s respectful in terms of what happens with the lads because they’re great people.”

Duignan also praised golfer Shane Lowry for his continued support of Offaly GAA, revealed the 2019 Open champion has invested a six-figure sum to help the county. Lowry is also planning to organise fundraisers for Offaly GAA, including a golf event next year in Florida.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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