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Marys search for new manager as Durrigan departs

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Hugh Durrigan speaking at an Ardee St Marys awards night. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

Ardee St Marys are on the lookout for a new senior manager for 2018 after Hugh Durrigan and his management team left the club last month.

ThisIsArdee.ie has learnt that Durrigan, Brian Keenan and Alan McKenny will not continue in their positions as manager, strength and conditioning coach and selector respectively. The trio communicated word of their decision to exit to the players last month, days after the Marys Cardinal O’Donnell Cup defeat to Naomh Mairtin, a result which ended their 2017 senior season.

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Paddy Martin, who joined the coaching ticket at Pairc Muire last December, has also left the club. The Carrickmacross native guided Donaghmoyne to the Monaghan Intermediate Football Championship in 2016 and saw his side reach the Ulster Intermediate Club Football Championship just in November last year before signing on with the Ardee side.

Durrigan, Keenan and McKenny previously worked on the Marys senior coaching team under Jack Sheedy but the Dubliner’s tenure was cut short just seven months in back in May 2016. The trio then took over, alongside Ken and Alan Rooney, and helped steady the ship in the league before masterminding the Marys incredible run to the 2016 Senior Championship Final, a match they lost to Sean O’Mahonys. All five were part of the Marys team that won the memorable Senior Championship in 1995, with Durrigan scoring a goal in the ensuing Leinster Club Championship that followed.

Durrigan, Martin and McKenny in conversation after the Marys draw with St Joseph’s in the SFC in July.

The five-strong management team also oversaw the club’s Paddy Sheelan Cup win last year. The Rooneys left the ticket ahead of the 2017 campaign, with Durrigan named manager. He oversaw a fine league campaign which saw the Marys finish top of Division 1 after 11 games before their semi-final loss to Naomh Mairtin.

Unfortunately, there was disappointment in the form of the Championship campaign. A solitary draw against St Josephs in their group meant the Ardee side had to play a unique playoff against the Joes for a place in the quarter-finals, a game in which the team Dromiskin won through.

A text message was sent to the Marys players days after the senior team’s final match of the year, in which Durrigan, also a former John Mitchels player and coach, thanked the players, his coaching team and other members of the backroom staff for their work and support. He also wished the panel well in 2018 and beyond. Their departures had already been communicated to senior club officials.

Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie today, club chairman Mickey Rooney confirmed the departures and put on record his thanks to the team for their management over the last two years. “Hugh is doing a Masters degree next year and he’s busy with work as well, so he decided he wouldn’t be putting his name forward for 2018. Paddy is finished up as well.

“I have the utmost respect for Hugh, Paddy, Alan and all the team. They’re a good a management team,” he said.

The chairperson also confirmed the club have begun the search for a new management team. A three-man committee is in place and preliminary talks have already been held with some potential candidates, with more likely to follow. The Marys hope to have someone in place by early December.

“We are looking for new management at the moment. We haven’t decided anything and won’t be deciding anything for a while. We’ll be holding interviews in the next few weeks,” Rooney said.

Ardee St Marys – May 2016 to September 2017

  • Played – 32
  • Won – 17
  • Drew – 5
  • Lost – 10
  • Points Scored – 560
  • Points Conceded – 401
  • Acheivements – Paddy Sheelan Cup 2016, Senior Football Championship Finalists 2016, Cardinal O’Donnell Cup Semi-Finalists 2017

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