EIRE Og senior managers Mickey Devlin and Oliver Cormican have stepped down from their post.
The news will come as a surprise to many considering that the pair had won four trophies in their two years in charge at the Pinebank club. Devlin and Cormican, who have experience managing clubs in County Antrim and also had a spell with St. Peter’s, set in place a system at Eire Og which reaped rich dividends.
Joint Og’s boss Mickey Devlin told the Mail: “All of this you could say is about timing. Could we have taken Eire Og any further? I don’t know, but what I can say with certainty is that the players who are currently with the club are mature enough to take a forward step under a new manager. I was always of the belief that Eire Og weren’t making proper use of their catchment area. There was always big numbers available and we brought back twelve or thirteen players who for one reason or another were away so that in itself is a form of success.”
During their spell with Eire Og the former management team according to Mickey Devlin had great support from the clubs committee. “The committee and supporters were fantastic,” he added. “There is a great community atmosphere in Craigavon and I believe that the Og’s have tapped into this. At the start of the past season considering the new alignments of the league structure some Eire Og supporters were apprehensive about competing in Division Two following promotion from the Third Division, but few could have envisaged their end of year position which saw the Craigavon side competing in a Shield decider. It was all about belief,” added Mickey. “The boys worked hard over the past two seasons. They trained hard and it paid dividends.”
So where do the former Eire Og managers go from here? “No approaches have come from elsewhere. I believe we took our decision for the good of the Eire Og club. For the moment we wish Eire Og the best of luck over the coming seasons.”
With the Pinebank players now used to the regime implemented with military precision by their now departed managers can the Og’s players cope with what could be described as withdrawal symptoms?
“I believe the squads of players will just get on with the job next season. They know what is required to promote themselves going forward,” concluded Mickey.
Meanwhile Division One Shield winners Sarsfields will be on the search for a new senior trainer over the winter months following the news that Kieran Robinson will be taking a break from football.
The Annaghmore native, who will be on the sideline for this Sunday’s Town v Country Cup game at St. Peter’s, had been a part of the management team which won the All Ireland minor title back in 2009, along with Paul McShane and Brendan Hughes who is currently a coach with Paul Grimley’s senior county side.
Kieran Robinson had been brought into the Sarsfields set up by team boss Gerard Skelton after completing a spell with Armagh under 21’s and is highly rated in coaching circles. Kieran however will be part of a new coaching group recently set up at the Trasna club to facilitate the development of youth teams.