Sigerson football manager Niall Moyna has been drafted into the backroom team of the Down senior football set-up for the forthcoming year.
Moyna, who trained DCU to a third Sigerson title earlier in the year and will continue in his role as manager, is among the more high-profile names to join the Down set-up.
The highly regarded DCU professor is one of two new additions to the counties backroom team, as manager James McCartan extends his tenure at the helm to a fourth year.
Kilcoo native Jerome Johnston is once again on board, while Eamon Burns, an All-Ireland winner with the county in 1991 and 1994, also joins the side.
Moyna comes on board following a somewhat indifferent year for the counties footballers. Wins over Monaghan and Fermanagh saw the Mournemen advance to the Ulster final, but their quest for silverware ended in bitter disappointment as Donegal ran out convincing winners on a scoreline of 2-18 to 0-13.
Though victory over Tipperary was eked out subsequently, Down’s championship interest came to a grinding halt at the quarter-final juncture, as Mayo recorded a hugely comfortable 12-point victory.
James McCartan’s troops have been drawn against Derry in the quarter-final of the Ulster Senior Football Championship for 2013, first competing in Division 1 of the National league in early spring.
The move up North by Niall Moyna was circulated in a statement released by the Down county board on Saturday, November 3, a day after it was reported that the former U17 International Rules manager had turned down the opportunity to succeed Des Newton as Roscommon manager.
Moyna was the clear frontrunner for the vacancy and had met Roscommon officials, but cited commitments with DCU’s Sigerson team as the main reason for not accepting the position. Roscommon PRO Colm Beirne told The College View that the committee fully respected and understood Moyna’s decision. “Our management selection committee were very happy with the outcome of the meeting they had with Niall Moyna. After some thought, Niall subsequently informed the committee that due to his work commitments and his commitments to managing the DCU Sigerson team, he felt he was unable to give as much time to the Roscommon position as he would like to and therefore declined the position.”
It is believed that Moyna, head of DCU’s Department of Health and Human Performance, has been approached by several counties wishing to acquire his services in recent years.
Moyna himself has brought in a fresh face to the college’s Sigerson backroom team as they bid to achieve back-to-back success. Paul Casey, a panelist during Dublin’s All-Ireland winning campaign, joins the set-up weeks after announcing his retirement from the inter-county scene.
Casey was vice-captain of DCU’s all conquering Sigerson team in 2006 and joins fellow selectors Mick Bohan and Tony Diamond on the sideline
The Sigerson side play NUI Maynooth in their last league outing Wednesday at St. Vincent’s GAA grounds (7pm).
IMAGE CREDIT: Sportsfile