Leitrim search for new manager as Hagan steps down

John Connolly

Reporter:

John Connolly

Leitrim manager Sean Hagan pictured with backroom team members Brendan Doyle and Chris Carroll as they leave the field after the All-Ireland Qualifier defeat to Down in Newry.
Leitrim are on the search for a new Senior team manager after Sean Hagan informed the County Board last night (Friday) he was stepping down from his post in the wake of the heavy defeat to Down.

Leitrim are on the search for a new Senior team manager after Sean Hagan informed the County Board last night (Friday) he was stepping down from his post in the wake of the heavy defeat to Down.

In a statement released by the County Board, Sean Hagan cited increasing business commitments for his decision but, in an echo of the disciplinary problems that have affected the team in recent years, he also stated his concern “at the manner of the team’s collapse in their final game with Down in the championship qualifiers and with the commitment of some panel members leading up to this game”.

Hagan, who led Leitrim to a second consecutive FBD Connacht League title in 2014 and a strong run in the National League, said “he had thought long about continuing in this role and had come to the conclusion that it would be best for Leitrim football to now move on”.

The news that Hagan was steppping down comes as a surprise as just a matter of weeks ago, it was believed that the Leitrim manager was set to stay on for another term and had received the backing of the County Board Exectutive.

County Board Chairman Joe Flynn thanked Sean Hagan for his “work and enthusiasm” over the past year and said that “injuries and the non-availability of experienced players at the end of the year made his position very difficult.”

The full text of the County Board statement is as follows: “Leitrim team manager Seán Hagan informed the Executive of Leitrim GAA that he was standing down from his position as Senior team manager. Chairperson, Joe Flynn, informed the executive at an executive meeting on Friday night specially convened to set in motion team managements for the coming year.

“Seán cited a number of reasons but mainly that his own business had picked up considerably in recent times a factor that would make it difficult to devote the time such a position would demand. He too expressed concern at the manner of the team’s collapse in their final game with Down in the championship qualifiers and with the commitment of some panel members leading up to this game.

“He said he had thought long about continuing in this role and had come to the conclusion that it would be best for Leitrim football to now move on. He wished Leitrim GAA the best of luck in the future and enjoyed his time here.

“On behalf of Leitrim GAA Chairperson Joe Flynn thanked Seán for his work and enthusiasm over the past year. He alluded to his achievement in winning the FBD cup last January and of their excellent run in the National League just missing out on promotion. He stated that Seán was a gentleman to work with and always available to discuss any issues involving the team.

“He was passionate about the game and introduced new players to the panel with success. Injuries and the non- availability of experienced players at the end of the year made his position very difficult. Joe wished Seán the very best in both his business ventures and whatever role he would undoubtedly become involved in GAA circles.

“He concluded by thanking selectors Christy Carroll and Aiden McCarron and all involved with the management.”