Conor Laverty announced as Down’s new senior football manager | GAA News

Brian Barry

GAA Editor @BrianGBarry

Conor Laverty is the new senior football manager at Down, with Marty Clarke and Declan Morgan as selectors. Kilcoo’s winning All-Ireland captain will also continue to lead the Morne County U20 side

Last update: 08/08/22 9:32 p.m.

Conor Laverty celebrates after Kilcoo beat Kilmacud Crokes in the 2021-22 All-Ireland Club Final

Conor Laverty celebrates after Kilcoo beat Kilmacud Crokes in the 2021-22 All-Ireland Club Final

Down GAA has confirmed Conor Laverty as the county’s new chief football manager.

Laverty, who captained Kilcoo in the 2021-22 All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship, takes charge of his home county after accumulating experience on the sidelines in recent seasons.

He was manager under Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney with the senior Monaghan side, and also captained the Morne County U20 side to the 2021 Ulster title.

Laverty has amassed experience on the line

Laverty has amassed experience on the line

He succeeds James McCartan in the role, which only lasted a year after a tumultuous season.

“Down GAA has appointed Conor Laverty as the new manager of the senior football team,” read a statement.

“At a county committee meeting on Monday evening, the former star county striker and All-Ireland club-winning captain was ratified for the job.

“His leadership team will include Marty Clarke and Declan Morgan [a further member will be added to the management team later].

“Conor will also continue as U20 manager, a position he was appointed to in December 2020. He guided Down to a provincial title at that grade in his first year in the role.

“Full management of the U20s will be confirmed at a later date, with Darragh O’Hanlon (Kilcoo) and Conor Gilmore (St John’s) continuing in their roles.”

The focus will now be on whether Laverty can bring some of his Kilcoo club-mates into the inter-county panel. Eugene Branagan sparked controversy earlier this year when discussing the county’s setup.

“They [Down players] don’t have a winning mentality. I think that’s why a lot of Kilcoo boys don’t want to be involved,” Branagan said in May.

“They’re right there but I don’t think they’re there to win. That’s the difference between Kilcoo and County.

“Maybe if there was a different manager – Conor Laverty took the 20 and it was the first Ulster they had won in years.”

Laverty was a player when Down reached the 2010 All-Ireland final, but Morne County has fallen down the pecking order since then. They will play in Division 3 of the National League in 2023.

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