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31/07/2021

BREAKING: Terry Hyland steps down as Leitrim Senior team manager as County Board pay fulsome tribute to former manager

"His contribution to the activities of Leitrim GAA went way beyond those expected from a Senior Team Manager, particularly during the course of the pandemic" - Leitrim GAA County Board

Leitrim were outgunned and outclassed admits Terry Hyland

Terry Hyland chats the media last Sunday's Connacht SFC Semi-Final against Mayo Picture: Willie Donnellan

Leitrim are on the search for a new manager of the County Senior football team after the County Board announced that Terry Hyland has stepped down from the post.

The news comes in the wake of last Sunday's 5-20 to 0-11 defeat at the hands of Mayo in the Connacht Senior Football Championship Semi-Final in Elvery's Mac Hale Park with Terry Hyland telling waiting media that he would hold discussions with the County Board before making any decision on his future.

In the statement released at 4pm today (Thursday), Leitrim GAA County Board said "Leitrim GAA was informed last night that Senior Team Manager Terry Hyland is stepping down from the role. We wish to express our eternal gratitude to Terry and his entire backroom team, for the professional, wholehearted, and energetic manner in which they have carried out their respective duties to the team and all associated with it over the past three seasons."

The statement, which can be read below in full, went on to add: "Leitrim GAA is hugely appreciative of its association with Terry and his professional and practical manner of dealing with both the board and its players over his three seasons in charge. We appreciate his many sacrifices on our behalf. Indeed his contribution to the activities of Leitrim GAA went way beyond those expected from a Senior Team Manager, particularly during the course of the pandemic. We will be always grateful for his very positive efforts with us and the wealth of experience he brought to the role of Leitrim Senior Team Manager."

Hyland guided Leitrim to their first ever promotion of the Allianz NFL Division 4 in 2019 when they won their first five games in the competition and contested the Division 4 Final against Derry in Croke Park, a game that witnessed a huge Leitrim crowd in GAA Headquarters before the Oak Leaf county won 0-20 to 0-16.

However, in what was a familiar theme for Leitrim teams over the past few years, Leitrim suffered a heavy 3-17 to 0-12 loss to eventual champions Roscommon in the Connacht Senior Championship.

2020 saw Leitrim contest their first Division 3 campaign since 2008 under Hyland's stewardship with Leitrim drawing with Derry in the opening round before suffering defeats against Cork, Longford and Offaly. A win over Louth followed before Covid struck and saw the competition suspended.

When the League resumed later that year, Leitrim conceded the game against Down due to Covid concerns, leaving them with a winner takes all encounter with Tipperary, the Munster men who went on to win their first Munster title in decades a few weeks later, taking the verdict 2-11 to 0-15.

An 11 point defeat to Mayo followed in the championship with Hyland at first appearing non-committal about staying on with the county. However, the former Cavan boss was persuaded by calls from members of the County squad to stay on and committed for the 2021 campaign.

Unfortunately, with Covid again a factor, a reduced Allianz NFL Division 4 campaign saw Leitrim suffered three defeats at the hands of Sligo, Louth and Antrim before Mayo scored their record equalling victory last Sunday in Castlebar.

The Leitrim GAA County Board statement in full is as follows: 

Leitrim GAA was informed last night that Senior Team Manager Terry Hyland is stepping down from the role. We wish to express our eternal gratitude to Terry and his entire backroom team, for the professional, wholehearted, and energetic manner in which they have carried out their respective duties to the team and all associated with it over the past three seasons.

In his first in charge, Terry oversaw the Allianz League promotion to Division 3 in 2019 and a rare appearance in a Croke Park Final which gave Leitrim GAA, its players, and supporters the biggest lift since the days of 1994. 

Over what has been the most difficult sixteen months in living memory since the onset of the Covid pandemic, Terry and his management team managed to navigate our players through difficult times for all concerned, while always respecting and abiding by the various levels of restrictions that we have experienced across these unprecedented times. Progress was inevitably affected by the huge disruptions that this caused to all involved. 

Leitrim GAA is hugely appreciative of its association with Terry and his professional and practical manner of dealing with both the board and its players over his three seasons in charge. We appreciate his many sacrifices on our behalf. 

Indeed his contribution to the activities of Leitrim GAA went way beyond those expected from a Senior Team Manager, particularly during the course of the pandemic. We will be always grateful for his very positive efforts with us and the wealth of experience he brought to the role of Leitrim Senior Team Manager.

We wish to also acknowledge the excellent contributions of Jason O Reilly, Gary Donohoe, Padraig McGourty, Kevin Downes, Padraig Dolan, Damien Eames, Colin McCabe, Shane Bohan, Fergal Wynne, Alan Loftus, and Ronan O Rourke as the various members of Terry's backroom team over the past three years, while not forgetting the unsung heroes Leo Duignan, Kevin Lee and Brian Blake.

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