Sligo County board today confirmed the details of the management teams for its intercounty senior and U20 football squads for 2022.
It also announced the creation of a new U18/U19 development squad with its own management group to build a pathway from juvenile to adult football at intercounty level and to build on the achievement and progress of successive successful underage teams.
Tony McEntee will continue as senior football manager for his second year. Tony will be joined by Joe Keane (Assistant Manager), Mark Breheny (Selector), Paul Durcan (Goalkeeping coach/selector) and Sean Boyle (S&C). Additional backroom team personnel will be confirmed in due course.
Dessie Sloyan will return for a third year as U-20 Football manager. His backroom team includes Paul Higgins (Coach), Con O'Meara (Selector), Eamonn O'Hara (Selector), Richard Kennedy (Logistics/Selector) and Joe Quinn (S&C). Further additions to his backroom team will be announced at a later date.
Paul Henry will manage the U18/U19 Football Development Squad. Focusing on bridging the gap between U17 and U20, Paul and his backroom team will identify and work on the development of players in this age group who are not part of the U20 Football panel. Paul will be supported by Enda Mitchell, Colm McGee, Ross Donovan, JP Carden and Pat Kilcoyne and will liaise closely with our Performance Games Development Administrator (S&C) Sean Boyle.
Sligo County board Chairman Sean Carroll said, “we are pleased to have these arrangements confirmed now so that each of these management groups can progress their work and also work with a degree of co-ordination as they prepare for competition in 2022.”
Referring to the senior team, Mr Carroll said “As a new manager Tony McEntee had very little time this year after the pandemic restrictions were lifted to work with the players before the team was pitched into a three game national league campaign and then a championship match against eventual All Ireland finalists Mayo. Looking to next year he and his management team colleagues are already watching games in the club championships, and we look forward to the formation of a new county panel when the club competitions conclude”
“Our U20 team will look back on 2021 as one where at times they were competitive with the best and Roscommon’s subsequent run to the All-Ireland is a benchmark for what is possible. Building on that experience Dessie and his team have already been meeting with players to set out their plans and preparations for next year and we look forward to them getting a good run in competition next year”
“The creation of the U19/20 development squad is recognising that not all those who featured in our recent Connacht U17 championship success will immediately move in to the U20 squad, and also that players of that age will emerge who were not part of previous county underage squads but who are capable of playing county football and who deserve the opportunity to train and prepare in a structured intercounty standard environment at the earliest opportunity.”
Mr Carroll concluded “when we look back on 2021 there will be both highs and lows to learn from. The underage development work is showing continuous improvement and making Sligo consistently competitive at underage levels. We are confident the addition of the U18/U19 development squad and the early confirmation of team managements will strengthen the development journey from there into adult football and provide a stable and effective base from which to be competitive at that level too”